Oxford

Witney man Melvin Hillier unlawfully killed, coroner rules

Melvin Hillier Image copyright Police
Image caption Melvin Hillier had been a successful businessman before a serious road accident in 2003

A former businessman who was found dead with a head injury was unlawfully killed, an inquest heard.

The body of Melvin Hillier, 52, from Witney, was discovered at The Tower Centre in Alvescot Road, Carterton on 21 March last year.

Two men and one woman were arrested on suspicion of murder but later released without charge.

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said he was confident Mr Hillier was punched and this is what caused his death.

'Blunt impact'

The inquest at Oxfordshire Coroner's Court heard Mr Hillier had been a successful businessman before a serious road accident in 2003, which caused him to have mobility problems, and he began drinking heavily.

Mr Hillier stayed with a friend in Alvescot Road, Carterton, on the evening of 20 March, when he suffered a broken nose, black eye and an injury to his head.

He was found dead the next morning.

Witnesses told the inquest the injuries were as a result of him being punched.

A post-mortem revealed he died from a blunt impact to the head and was three-and-a-half times over the legal alcohol limit for driving at the time of his death.

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