A popular Corby nightclub boss who was murdered in a Corby hotel room died when he suffocated on vomit after being knocked unconscious during a savage attack, an inquest heard today (Thursday).
David Ross, better known to friends as Les, was 39-years-old when he was found dead at the Village Inn Express in The Jamb, Corby, on December 17, 2012.
Since his death, there has been an extensive police investigation, including appeals on BBC’s Crimewatch.
His inquest was held at Kettering Magistrates’ Court today.
Professor Guy Rutty, pathologist, carried out an autopsy on Mr Ross the day after his death.
He said the former part-owner of the Rubix nightclub in Corby had suffered a number of injuries to his face, chest and the back of his arms and hands which may have been inflicted by a weapon.
Prof Rutty said Mr Ross suffered blunt force trauma injuries which knocked him unconscious.
He added: “He then aspirated stomach contents which blocked his airway.”
The inquest heard from Mr Ross’s brother, Glen, who said the family had moved to Kettering in 1980.
Mr Ross had a number of jobs, working as a doorman, as a partner in the Rubix nightclub and as a taxi driver.
The inquest was told he was staying at the Village Inn temporarily after his home in Chelveston Drive had been broken into.
Paige Lindsay, a member of staff at the Village Inn, said she had knocked on Mr Ross’s door on the morning of the day he was discovered, and had heard a noise like a moan which she thought was Mr Ross waking up.
She returned and opened his room door later that day – which was unlocked – as she needed to see if his room was empty, and she found Mr Ross laying on the floor with a pool of blood around his head.
Jamie Harper, another member of Village Inn staff who was sleeping in a room at the hotel the night before Mr Ross was discovered, said he had not heard any noise, except for someone running up and down the stairs at about 11pm which he had assumed was another member of staff.
Coroner Anne Pember returned a verdict of unlawful killing.
She added: “Mr Ross was unlawfully killed by a person or persons unknown.”
Police have made a number of arrests since the death of Mr Ross in 2012, but no-one has yet been charged.
A family statement released by Northamptonshire Police today said: “Over two years since the death of our beloved David we are still a family torn apart with grief.
“The verdict today told us what we already knew, that David was taken from us in a senseless act of violence which he did not deserve and which was carried out in a cowardly manner.”
The force said officers are still investigating the murder and continue to appeal for any information or witnesses to come forward.
The family statement continued: “As a family we cannot hope to find any closure until such time as the person or persons responsible for David’s death are brought to justice.
“There are people still walking around in Corby and elsewhere who know what happened to David, who attacked him and why.
“These are all questions which we, his family, need an answer to and would ask that anyone with answers to those questions contacts Northamptonshire Police on 101 or contacts Crimestoppers if they feel unable to talk to police.”