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INQUEST: 77-year-old `died after club brawl'.

A 77-YEAR-old man died in hospital after he fell when he threw a punch at another elderly man outside a social club, an inquest heard yesterday.

Retired hospital porter William Owen, of Seiriol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, had taken a swing at Evan Rowlands, aged 64, outside the city's Crosville club in June last year.

Mr Rowlands, of Bangor, a painter and decorator who attended the Caernarfon inquest on crutches, said Mr Owen had lost his balance and had fallen over. The pensioner suffered a broken rib and died in hospital 18 days later from bronchial pneumonia. Mr Rowlands, known by the nickname Hugh Pugh, recalled that Mr Owen had two pints in his hands and urged him to go outside as he walked past him in the club. He ignored the request at first but it was repeated and he then went outside to find out what he had done to upset Mr Owen.

``He said `stand there' and took a swing at me. I put my arm up in selfdefence and he pulled me over and fell,'' he told the hearing.

Another witness, hospital porter Iolo Owen, who saw the pensioner in hospital at Bangor, said Mr Owen told him he had a ``little argument outside the club over a pork pie. He said he tried to hit Hugh Pugh, he missed and fell on the floor. He said he fell on the grid. He made a joke about it.''

Coroner Dewi Pritchard-Jones recorded a verdict of accidental death. ``In my view, the death occurred because Mr Owen lost his balance, probably in a difference of opinion with Mr Rowlands, and fell onto a hard surface. That's a classic accident.''
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 20, 2002
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