Fresh investigation ordered into death of Sheffield woman killed during argument over phone

Gillian Poulson.
Gillian Poulson.
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A fresh investigation has been ordered into the death of a 'brilliant and wonderful' grandmother who was killed during an argument over a missing phone in a pub.

Gillian Poulson, aged 50, died from head injuries after an altercation with another woman at the Manor Social Club in City Road, Sheffield, last year.

Flowers left at the scene of the altercation.

Flowers left at the scene of the altercation.

An 18-year-old woman was initially arrested on suspicion of murder but the crown prosecution service decided not to charge her due to lack of evidence.

But a coroner has now ordered the case to be referred back to the CPS for a second look after hearing 'compelling evidence' that Mrs Poulson's fatal injuries were caused by a punch.

Outside of court, Mrs Poulson's brother Kevin said: "We think it is the right decision based on all the medical evidence."

An inquest at Sheffield's Medico Legal Centre today heard how Mrs Poulson had been drinking with the 18-year-old earlier in the night but an argument ensued after the younger woman lost her phone.

CCTV showed an altercation between the two and a few moments later Mrs Poulson fell to the ground. She died in hospital a few hours after the incident on February 29 last year.

Detective Constable Claire Mann said you could not see a punch connect due to the date stamp on the footage screen but a "lunge forward" from the younger woman was evident.

She said the teenager was arrested on suspicion or murder but denied throwing a punch and instead claimed she had put her arm out to "move her away."

Other witnesses saw the scuffle but said they had not seen the punch connect.

The detective constable said the CPS considered manslaughter charges but eventually ruled this out due to lack of evidence.

Pathologist Dr Charles Wilson said Mrs Poulson died of a bleed around the brain which was "entirely consistent with a blow being landed" to her head.

The court heard she had not been involved in any another altercations that day.

The pathologist also said Mrs Poulson had alcohol, cocaine and amphetamines in her system.

Coroner Sarah Slater said she felt Dr Wilson "gave compelling evidence that there is no other explanation for the bruise being present where it was other than a blow landing."

She added she was taking the "very unusual" step of asking lawyers to look into the case again to see if any criminal charges need to be brought.

The coroner said it could take at least three months before the CPS reaches a decision.

Shortly after her death, Mrs Poulson was described by friends as a 'brilliant and wonderful' mother-of-two and grandmother.