Coroner rules Neasden man who died in pub fight was unlawfully killed

Grieving family have waited six years for inquest verdict

A young man who died after he intervened in a pub fight was unlawfully killed, a coroner ruled today (Wednesday).

Wayne Kelly, 21, of Alderton Close, Neasden, sustained fatal head injuries during the fracas outside The Harp pub in West Hendon, on April 10, 2005.

An inquest into his death was held at Barnet Coroner’s Court where coroner Dr Andrew Walker heard Mr Kelly, who was known as ‘Smiley’, died of a massive blow to the head minutes after he was punched by a bouncer outside the pub.

Mr Kelly had tried to intervene in an argument between two men and the bouncers when he became embroiled in a fight with a doorman.

During the two-day inquest, the court also heard evidence from more than 15 people including one of the pub’s doormen, witnesses at the scene, medics and police officers.

A verdict was adjourned for six months and Dr Walker announced his decision today (Wednesday).

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He said: “Wayne Martin Kelly was chased and fell while avoiding a blow.

“He hit his head as he fell.

“He did indeed die in circumstances which are seen as in an unlawful way.

“Wayne Martin Kelly was unlawfully killed.”

Mr Kelly’s family have battled for six years for his death to be deemed an unlawful killing.

They have postponed his inquest thrice to allow them time to gather evidence about his death and to raise the �10,000 fee for a barrister to act on their behalf.

During that time, the family have held two ‘Justice for Wayne’ peace marches which took place along The Hyde, West Hendon, where Mr Kelly died.

Today, speaking directly to Mr Kelly’s family, Dr Walker apologised for the long wait for a verdict.

He said: “Thank you for your patience. I am sorry that it has taken us so long to get to this point.

“Nothing I say can bring back Mr Kelly but now you know and understand how he came to his death.”

Speaking on behalf of the family, Mr Kelly’s eldest sister Stacey said: “We truly believe in our hearts that if we didn’t fight for Wayne we wouldn’t have got his verdict.

“It’s sad that we’ve gone through all of this for his death to be recognised of an unlawful killing.

“It’s been six years down the line and it’s still very raw but at least we now have it in black and white – Wayne was unlawfully killed.”

Three men were initially arrested on suspicion of Mr Kelly’s murder, but the Crown Prosecution Service cited insufficient evidence.