Prosecution ruled out after death of ex-teacher in ghetto blaster row

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PROSECUTORS said there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges over the death of a retired teacher who was said by a coroner to have been a victim of “anti-social behaviour outside his home”.

Patrick Gallagher, 64, suffered a blood clot and died of a heart attack after a doorstep row with neighbours about loud music, an inquest heard.

A ghetto blaster was said to have been put outside his home in Market Street, Whitworth, Lancashire, last August.

His wife, Susan, went to call police when her husband was threatened but later found the music had been switched off and Mr Gallagher collapsed in the doorway.

He died in hospital three days later.

Four men and a woman - aged from 46 to 64 - were arrested but were all released without charge.

The behaviour of Mr Gallagher’s neighbours was criticised by Rochdale coroner Simon Nelson.

Recording a narrative verdict on Tuesday, he said such behaviour was “wholly provocative”.

He said: “I like to think the consequences of their actions will remain with them in their conscience and have an effect on how they will react in the future.

“Patrick Gallagher responded on the night in a manner that any reasonable individual would have responded.

“Mr Gallagher died of a coronary thrombosis wholly precipitated by the stress of being a victim of anti-social behaviour outside his home.”

His daughter, Catherine, had asked the coroner to record a verdict of unlawful killing.

A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “The CPS thoroughly reviewed all the evidence submitted by Lancashire Police following Mr Gallagher’s tragic death, including detailed evidence from the pathologist, and we concluded that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to bring a criminal charge of manslaughter in this case.”