Man died after ‘single punch attack’ at Derbyshire centre, inquest hears

A man died after being punched by another man at a residential centre for adults with learning difficulties and mental health problems, an inquest heard. 

Robert Chaplin, 49, passed away at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham on January 24 - a day after he was allegedly attacked at the Morewood Centre on Wingfield Road, Alfreton.

Robert Chaplin.

Robert Chaplin.

An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of his murder and later released on police bail. 

Mr Chaplin’s inquest was opened at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court today.

Giving evidence, Detective Inspector Justin Redman, of Derbyshire Constabulary, said: “One of the care staff witnessed the whole incident. 

“Mr Chaplin could be quite verbally abusive when he had some alcohol – which they believe he had that night.

“He was being particularly abusive towards a gentleman who’s now our suspect. 

“As a result of Mr Chaplin being verbally abusive towards our suspect, our suspect went out to a courtyard area and he became more and more stressed.

“Mr Chaplin then locked him out.

“Our suspect was let back into the facility and Mr Chapman continued to be verbally abusive towards him.

“Our suspect then threw one punch which connected to Mr Chaplin’s neck area.

“He fell back and lost consciousness.

“The ambulance service was called and Mr Chaplin was taken to hospital.”

Coroner Peter Nieto said provisional post-mortem tests showed Mr Chaplin died of a ‘hypoxic brain injury’.

He adjourned the inquest until June 9 to allow further investigations to be carried out.