Questions are still unanswered about St Albans man’s mystery death

THE grieving brother of a wealthy St Albans man who died after being found unconscious in a pool of blood maintains that there were gaps in the police investigation into his death.

Martin Hewitt, 66, of Lattimore Road, died at Hemel Hempstead Hospital on August 6, 2012.

But as mystery surrounded Mr Hewitt’s death during the inquest initially opened in October, it was subsequently adjourned to obtain additional information, and was reopened last Thursday.

Further evidence was given about the nature of his injuries, including a break to his spine, and about the movements of a woman from Turkey, an employee of Mr Hewitt, who was one of the last to see him prior to his death.

The inquest was told that a neighbour called the police after becoming concerned at a television being left on loud all night at Mr Hewitt’s home which was “not normal”.

When the police entered his house they saw an upturned stool near a piano, with blood nearby, but no trail of blood upstairs to the bedroom where Mr Hewitt was found in a pool of blood.

A bloodied sock was found near his unconscious body, suggesting it had been used to stem the flow of blood from a head wound.

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There was no sign of forced entry, but the scenes of vrime unit was called to investigate.

The inquest was told that as Mr Hewitt ran a profitable business in Turkey, often travelling there and hosting visitors from that country, his daughter feared her father was being “targeted because he was vulnerable and wealthy”.

DC Karen Webb, of Herts Police, explained that the woman employee had pre-booked a taxi to Luton Airport to return to Turkey prior to his being found unconscious. She was interviewed by telephone.

Family members at the inquest asked why the police did not contact them for more information.

Herts Coroner Edward Thomas explained that internal bleeding had caused Mr Hewitt’s death, but the fracture to his upper spine was “irrelevant as it was not unstable”.

He ruled that Mr Hewitt died from his injuries as a result of the fall.

The cause of death was aspiration pneumonia and traumatic intracerebral haemorrhage (bleed inside the brain).

Contributing factors were that Mr Hewitt suffered chronic alcohol syndrome and Korsakoff’s Syndrome, a brain disorder usually associated with heavy alcohol consumption over a long period.

After the inquest Myles Hewitt, a journalist from London, praised the coroner for his “in-depth” investigation into the cause of his older brother’s death.

But he added: “I feel the police were less than thorough in investigating the circumstances of Martin’s death. For example, they interviewed no family members about his personal, business and financial background.

“They also failed to conduct an in-depth face-to-face interview with the last person known to have seen him before the police entered his house.”

Myles explained that his brother had, “set up - from nothing – a data communications company, and over 10 years ago it was bought by a larger company, which is how he became so wealthy. He really achieved something.”