Sunderland widow’s death still being probed by police

Joan Barnett, 87, died after an incident at her home in Newlands Avenue, Tunstall, Sunderland
Joan Barnett, 87, died after an incident at her home in Newlands Avenue, Tunstall, Sunderland

The death of a Sunderland widow remains an ongoing police investigation, a coroner has confirmed.

Four men have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and bailed following the death of 87-year-old Joan Barnett on November 11, 2014, at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Police have said they believe Mrs Barnett lay in agony on the floor of her Tunstall home for 10 hours after an incident at around 2pm on August 18.

Officers said she was shoved over after she opened the door to men claiming they were carrying out gardening work in the area, with the group leaving empty-handed.

At a review of her inquest, coroner Derek Winter said: “The position from the police and Crown Prosecution Service is they are making progress with regards to identifying and the potential charging of individuals associated with the death of Joan Barnett.

“In these circumstances it is not appropriate for me to list this for a full hearing.”

The hearing was adjourned until Tuesday, April 19,