Inquest into man’s death in fire at former care home adjourned while murder investigation continues

An inquest into the death of a man in a fire at a former care home has been adjourned for three months.

Patryk Rafal Mortimer died in a blaze which started at the former Manor House care home, in Easington Lane, in the early hours of Saturday, November 3, last year.

Police and fire investigators at the scene

Police and fire investigators at the scene

Mr Mortimer was pulled from the building, but was pronounced dead a short time later, despite the efforts of firefighters and paramedics to save him.

Police released his identity on Wednesday, November 7, and confirmed five days later that they were treating his death as murder.

Sunderland senior coroner Derek Winter opened an inquest shortly after Mr Mortimer’s death, which has subsequently been adjourned while the police enquiry continues.

Mr Winter told a pre-inquest review hearing at Sunderland Coroner’s Court that he was adjourning the inquest until August as detectives were still investigating the death.

It would not be appropriate for me to proceed with the inquest until those concurrent investigations have been concluded.

Derek Winter

“I understand that police enquiries are still ongoing,” he said.

“In those circumstances, it would not be appropriate for me to proceed with the inquest until those concurrent investigations have been concluded.

“Accordingly, I will adjourn for a further review on the 14th of August at 10am.”

Mr Winter told a previous hearing post-mortem examinations had been carried out by two pathologists.

Patryk Mortimer, 39, who died following a fire at the former Manor House Care Home in Easington Lane in the early hours of Saturday, November 3.

Patryk Mortimer, 39, who died following a fire at the former Manor House Care Home in Easington Lane in the early hours of Saturday, November 3.

Dr Jennifer Bolton had carried out an examination on November 3 and given the preliminary cause of death as the effects of fire.

“I am satisfied that I have jurisdiction to conduct an inquest as part of my investigation,” he said.

Speaking a month after Mr Mortimer’s death, detective chief inspector John Bent, the senior investigating officer in the case, said: “We are treating this as a homicide investigation as we map out the sequence of events that led to Patryk’s death.

“His family deserve to know the circumstances surrounding his death.

Police on the scene of the fire, which happened inside the former Manor House Care Home in Pemberton Bank, on High Street, Easington Lane.

Police on the scene of the fire, which happened inside the former Manor House Care Home in Pemberton Bank, on High Street, Easington Lane.

“We will do everything we can to allow them some kind of closure and ensure those responsible are brought to justice.”

Six people were arrested in connection with Mr Mortimer’s death.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “One man remains under investigation, five people have been released with no further action to be taken.

“Enquiries are ongoing, and police would still like to hear from anybody with information who have yet to come forward.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log 146 031118 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.