Doubt as to cause of Erewash Canal death

Published: Friday, 25 June 2021

THERE are doubts as to the police actions over the death of a man by the Erewash Canal.

An inquest failed to outline the cause of death of Robert Chatwin, who left behind two daughters, then aged four and nine, Alan Tilbury reports.

Police under investigation

He was found dead by the waterway during April of 2019, and Area Coroner Peter Nieto wishes to scrutinise the actions of Derbyshire police, under investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct in relation to the death of Robert Chatwin.

But his family will have to wait up to a year to find out how he died, as the second inquest was due to start at Derby Coroner's Court on Wednesday, but Mr Nieto said it would have to be adjourned as Derbyshire police should be classed as an interested person in the case, remarking:

"There are a number of questions still outstanding. It is my view that the police do need to be involved in the case. It may be that there has been some act or omission which in some way has led to Robert's death."

A jury

Police have six weeks to provide evidence, with two weeks for a decision to be made as to whether a jury will be required, but owing to the backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a jury inquest could take between eight and 12 months to start.

Two men were seen in the area where Robert Chatwin was discovered just before he was believed to have died, with the possibility that he was assaulted prior to his death.