Littlehampton fatal incident: Grandfather 'believed to have been punched'

A grandfather who died on a street in Littlehampton is ‘believed to have been punched’, an inquest has heard.

Paul Lawrence, 51, was named as the victim of an incident in Gladonian Road, around 6am, on Sunday, January 28.

Heartfelt family tributes were paid last week to a ‘gentle soul’ who was ‘full of happiness and loved by all’.

The plumber and gas engineer lived in Cheal Way, half a mile from where he died.

An inquest – which was was opened in Chichester on Tuesday morning (February 6) – heard that the police received a call from ambulance crews ‘in relation to a suspicious cardiac arrest’ in a public place.

However, the victim's ‘head injury’ was ‘consistent with him falling and hitting his head’, a record of inquest stated.

The report added: "He is believed to have been punched by another male causing him to fall into the road.

"A Home Office Post Mortem was unable to confirm a cause of death and so further investigations are ongoing.”

The inquest was suspended whilst criminal proceedings are ongoing.

A 16-year-old boy was taken into custody after the fatal incident.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: "Having carefully considered the circumstances, he has since been released on bail with strict conditions, including a curfew, until March 14 as enquiries continue.”

Paul’s work colleagues and friends have organised a sponsored walk from Brighton Pier to Littlehampton on Saturday (February 10). If you would like to take part or make a donation, visit