Inquest opens into tragic Luke’s death

Luke Rhoden
Luke Rhoden

THE inquest has opened into the tragic death of a young Wigan man during an Ibizan stag holiday.

And Luke Rhoden’s father Norman will be hoping that when the full hearing takes place next year it will give him the answers he craves in a quest for justice and closure.

Former Wigan Warriors academy player Luke died on the Spanish island on September 2 outside the Ibiza Rocks Hotel after suffering a heart attack. Moments earlier he was involved in a struggle with Civil Guard officers (the military force charged with police duties in Ibiza).

Initial beliefs were that drugs in Luke’s system were responsible for his death but, in the hours following the incident, streams of witnesses came forward alleging severe police brutality and there is now a question whether their actions brought it on.

Later, the emergency doctor who attended to the Ince 25-year-old at the scene, Dr Santiago Akoskin, revealed he had to tell the officers three times to let go of him before he could carry out his duties.

At that time Mr Rhoden said: “The police are now trying to blame the doctor for malpractice. My question is if you thought there was malpractice, why have you not said the doctor has done something untoward from day one?

“They’ve not done that, they’ve just given me a very basic explanation of what happened.

“Now, after the doctor has said what they did they are saying he is to blame. It stinks.

“I might not know about it for a few months but someone has to be accountable for Luke’s death.”

Mr Rhoden himself went out to Ibiza to meet representatives of the authorities out there but came back unsatisfied with some of the answers he received.

After learning of the tragedy, Mr Rhoden faced the added anguish of trying to find £8,000 to get his son’s body repatriated because the young man wasn’t insured for such an eventuality.

But the Wigan public came to the rescue, carrying out a range of charity events - including bucket collections at Wigan Warriors games - in order to hit the target.

Luke’s inquest opened at Bolton Coroner’s Court this week, simply to confirm personal details. It was then adjourned pending further investigations.