Sheffield man died from ‘head injuries’ after nightclub punch

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A mentally ill Sheffield man died after he was punched in the face and then hit his head on a pavement outside a late bar, an inquest heard.

Jon-Paul Smith, aged 42, of St George’s Close, Netherthorpe, was attacked outside the Melt late bar on West Street, next to the junction with Eldon Street, at 11.50pm on September 5 last year.

Tributes left for Jon-Paul Smith at the spot where he was killed on West Street

Tributes left for Jon-Paul Smith at the spot where he was killed on West Street

Mr Smith was taken to the Northern General Hospital but died the next morning.

The inquest at Sheffield Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Smith, who was originally from Liverpool but had lived in Sheffield for 20 years, developed mental health issues from 2011.

He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act on June 3, 2014 and was treated on the Maple ward at Northern Gereral Hospital.

The inquest heard his family was shocked when he was discharged on August 6, as they had seen him the previous day and described his behaviour as ‘erratic’.

Jon-Paul’s family told a jury at the inquest that he ‘should never have been discharged’ and there were many ‘missed opportunities’ to re-admit him.

Jon-Paul’s mother, Beryl Smith, and his brother-in-law, Richard Stacey, both said his death had been ‘forseeable’ unless he was taken back to hospital.

The court heard the community team working with Mr Smith had told the family the police ‘let them down’ in assisting with his recall to hospital.

When asked by Sheffield Assistant Deputy Coroner, David Urpeth, who was responsible for Mr Smith’s death, Mr Stacey said: “It’s quite early in the inquest but questions need answering from police, the community team and hospital staff.

“We made it quite clear as a family we wanted to be involved with Jon-Paul’s discharge and no-one was properly informed.”

Jon-Paul’s mother, Beryl paid tribute to her son.

She said: “He had a heart of gold, he was a lovely lad and was dead funny. He always had me in fits of laughter.”

Dr Charles Wilson, a forensic pathologist, described the incident which led to Jon-Paul’s death.

He said: “CCTV footage I’ve seen shows a man strike Mr Smith in the face and he falls and hits his head on the pavement.

“A lot of my findings point to the subsequent head injuries causing his death.”

Dr Wilson added that Jon-Paul suffered fractures to his skull and nose, swelling and bruising to his cheek, lip arms and shoulders.

The inquest continues.