Football fan who was attacked died of complications from brain injury – inquest

A football fan who was attacked after an away match died five years later of complications from a brain injury, an inquest has heard.

Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin was set upon as he walked to the railway station following his team’s 0-0 away draw against Southend United on March 21 2015.

Essex coroner’s officer Jo Instrall said Mr Dobbin was assaulted and suffered “serious head injuries”.

He was left unable to walk or talk.

Ms Instrall told a hearing in Chelmsford on Thursday that Mr Dobbin “died suddenly at home” in Mildenhall, Suffolk, five years later, on October 21 2020, at the age of 48.

His medical cause of death was recorded as “complications arising from hypoxic ischemic brain injury following an assault”, Ms Instrall said.

Simon Dobbin attacked
Cambridge United supporter Simon Dobbin suffered serious head injuries in the attack and was left unable to walk or talk (Essex Police/PA)

Essex area coroner Sean Horstead formally opened the inquest into Mr Dobbin’s death and then suspended it “at the request of Essex Constabulary”.

He said the hearing will resume “at the conclusion of any contemplated criminal proceedings”.

Essex Police previously said a post-mortem examination indicated a “causal link” between the attack and Mr Dobbin’s death.

Detectives are investigating to see whether they can “directly and evidentially show who was responsible for his death”.

Thirteen men were convicted in 2017 of their involvement in the attack, and 12 of them were handed jail terms totalling more than 42 years.

Acting Detective Superintendent Stephen Jennings, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “We have received the final report following the post-mortem examination and it shows pathologically there was a causal link between the assault Simon was subjected to, and his death.

“We will now carry out an investigation to see if we can directly and evidentially show who was responsible for his death.

“I know Simon’s story has touched the lives of many people and we are supporting his family.

“My thoughts are with his friends and loved ones.”