Inquest will not re-open after man jailed for killing Sunderland dad

IN TRIBUTE: Flowers left outside the NE38 Sports Bar in Bamston following the death of John Potts.

IN TRIBUTE: Flowers left outside the NE38 Sports Bar in Bamston following the death of John Potts.

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SUNDERLAND’S coroner has decided not to re-open the inquest into the death of a dad who was killed by a single punch as he tried to play peacemaker during a brawl.

John Potts, 45, died after being hit by Gordon Robson outside the NE38 sports bar in Washington, in November last year.

Robson had been drinking at the venue after being pallbearer at his grandfather’s funeral that day.

The 26-year-old, of Waskerley Way, in Washington, was jailed for three-and-a-half years by Judge Paul Sloan, QC, at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting manslaughter.

Yesterday, at Sunderland Civic Centre, a hearing into Mr Pott’s death was held by city coroner Derek Winter.

He said: “Mr Potts died on November 23.

“An inquest was opened and suspended pending the outcome of crown court proceedings.

“I have now received notification that a man has been sentenced to 42 months’ imprisonment in respect of a homicide investigation of manslaughter.

“It appears that there are no inquest hearings to be addressed.”

During the crown court hearing, Mr Potts’ distraught widow Sarah said in her victim statement his death has had a devastating impact on the family, including his stepchildren and eight-year-old daughter, who now fears her family won’t come back whenever they leave the house.

In a statement after Robson’s conviction, Mrs Potts said: “The pain that we are suffering in losing John cannot be put into words. It’s unimaginable.

“It’s knowing that he has been taken away from us all by the conscious actions of another person.

“That’s horrific. That morning I knew that my life would never be the same again.

“I’m in a dark lonely place. The family are in a constant state of sorrow, day in, day out.

“I didn’t just lose a loving husband, our family lost its devoted dad, brother, a trusted friend to all who knew him. Our families have been left empty without him.”