Tragic death of Wigan man not related to assault two days earlier, inquest told

A violent assault did not cause the death of a man whose body was found in his flat two days later, an inquest has ruled.

A neighbour recalled seeing Nathan Bradburn being punched and stamped on outside his home on Linney Square in Scholes on November 29 last year.

But an inquest at Bolton Coroner’s Court this week was told while he suffered cuts and bruises, the attack did not cause any serious injuries or contribute to his death two days later.

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Instead, a post-mortem examination revealed the 25-year-old died from ketoacidosis - a build-up of harmful ketones in the body - caused by poorly-managed diabetes and hypothermia.

Nathan BradburnNathan Bradburn
Nathan Bradburn

Coroner Stephen Teasdale recorded he died from a “combination of naturally occurring disease and hypothermia”.

The inquest heard Nathan had lived in the flat for six months and was awoken at around 1pm on Sunday, November 29 by a phone call.

A man went to see him around an hour later and the pair started fighting outside.

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Nathan’s girlfriend Leonie Jones said they appeared to stop fighting, before something was said and the man “rugby tackled” Nathan to the floor, causing him to bang his head.

Neighbour Mark Gray said he was alerted to something happening when the man threw a bottle at Nathan’s home.

“About five minutes later he shouted, so I went to the window and Nathan was on the floor and the lad who had thrown the bottle of Budweiser was punching him and stamping on him,” he


Two passers-by intervened and helped Nathan to get home.

Ms Jones, who had been in a relationship with him for around six months, said he had no obvious injuries and did not want her to call an ambulance.

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She left later that afternoon and unsuccessfully tried to phone him that evening and the following day.

Police were called shortly after 5.45pm on December 1 by someone anonymously raising concerns for his welfare and when officers later gained entry to his flat, they found Nathan’s body in the living room.

Consultant forensic pathologist Dr Charles Wilson, who carried out a post-mortem examination, said he found 39 injuries on Nathan’s body, including bruising around his lips and ear and abrasions on his head.

However, there were no significant internal injuries and he believed they did not contribute to his death.

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Instead, tests showed Nathan had suffered ketoacidosis and there were signs of hypothermia and diabetes

The inquest heard Nathan had been diagnosed with type-one diabetes, but he did not always take his medication and had been taken to hospital several times as a result.

Dr Wilson said police officers had noted Nathan’s flat was cold, windows were open and records showed the temperature in Wigan at the time was between four and 11 degrees Celsius, with four degrees being the recommended temperature for a domestic refrigerator.

But investigations revealed the heating system in his flat was working correctly and Ms Jones recalled it being used.

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Dr Wilson said both hypothermia and diabetes can cause ketoacidosis, but it was not possible to say which Nathan had experienced first. It could be that he had a diabetic emergency and then was affected by the cold or vice versa.

He also explained that it can be difficult for the body to recognise very low or high temperatures, which may have led to Nathan opening windows and taking off his clothes even when he was cold.

Dr Wilson said: “Not only do people get confused, they don’t understand extreme cold or heat, so they take their clothes off and that worsens the hypothermia.”

He recorded that Nathan died from ketoacidosis due to diabetes and hypothermia.

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A police investigation revealed no third party involvement in his death, but CCTV footage was obtained of the assault two days earlier and a man was given a caution.

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