Anguish goes on for Luke’s family

Luke Rhoden

Luke Rhoden

In September 2014 Luke Rhoden died while on a stag do in Ibiza, but two years on his family are still no nearer to finding out how the tragedy happened.

An inquest into his death has been repeatedly postponed and now a date for the next hearing later this summer, hinges on the availability of a Spanish doctor.

We’ve been submitting different pieces of evidence but this doctor is the glue that will bring everything together if we are to get the conclusion we want

Norman Rhoden

Luke, a former Wigan Warriors Academy player died in controversial circumstances after suffering a cardiac arrest following a struggle with police on the Mediterranean island.

He was found to have drugs in his system but it is a clash with Guarda Civil (Ibiza police) shortly before he died that has prompted his family to ask for answers,

Video footage showed Luke hobbling around after reportedly leaping from his hotel balcony.

He was then seen struggling with police in the street.

Eyewitnesses claimed that excessive force was used to restrain him while the doctor that was called to the scene spoke of having to ask one officer to stop choking the former Winstanley College student shortly before he

died.

And it is that medic who Luke’s father Norman believes holds the key evidence in the inquest, which is hoped to take place in August.

Mr Rhoden told the Observer: “We’ve not had the date confirmed yet but we’re looking at the end of August.

“We’re trying to get the doctor over from Spain to give evidence but it’s a busy season in Ibiza so it’s difficult.

“We’ve been submitting different pieces of evidence but this doctor is the glue that will bring everything together if we are to get the conclusion we want.”

One possible outcome would be unlawful killing, which could spark a criminal investigation.

Others include an open verdict, which means that the exact cause could not be established and doubts remain, or it could be recorded as misadventure or accidental death.

There will be no jury for the hearing, meaning it will be up to the coroner to determine how Luke died, after hearing all the evidence presented.

One source of anger for Norman and the rest of Luke’s family since that tragic day has been the lack of communication from the police.

They didn’t make a statement over any allegations made against their officers, nor did they hold any investigation and it remains to be seen if they will supply evidence at the inquest.

“I’m still in the middle as to how I think the inquest will go,” said Norman.

“Listening to what has been said at the preliminary hearings, the questions are being asked about the police but because of the drugs in his system, it is up in the air.

“It’s taken a long time, I was originally told it would be held within 12 months but with everything that has gone on I knew it would be longer.

“My thinking now is that I can’t do anything now, I’ve got to get on with my life, I’ve got two young girls as well.