Friend claims killing victim was let down by hospital

IPSWICH: A close friend of Dennis Folkes today believes the 46-year-old’s death could have been prevented if his fatal condition had been spotted earlier.

The friend told The Evening Star: “I feel poor Dennis was let down by the hospital and let down by the justice system. It seems so unfair.”

Dennis died in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridgeshire, in May following a single punch from his son Jordan.

After the powerful blow in the Sallows Close home of Dennis’ fiancee Shezaha Zivkovic, 46, on the night of April 12, Dennis was knocked to the ground, when he is believed to have banged his head on the floor.

The impact led to a “fist-sized” lump quickly developing at the back of his head.

He was taken to Ipswich Hospital and treated for his injuries, but he was discharged the following morning.

However, his condition deteriorated and on April 15 he was re-admitted to Ipswich Hospital and transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. On May 6, he died as a result of his brain injuries.

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On Friday, 20-year-old Jordan, of Sloeberry Road, was sentenced to three years in a young offenders’ institution after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of his father.

However, it emerged during the hearing that Dennis may have survived his injuries had they been picked up sooner.

In a report read out in court, Home Office pathologist Dr Nat Cary said: “Had the potential seriousness of the injury been recognised sooner and treated appropriately then it is possible that a fatal outcome could have been avoided.”

There was also an indication in court that the fist-sized lump which had developed at the back of Dennis’ head may not have been seen by those who treated Dennis just hours after the fatal punch.

Judge John Devaux told Jordan during his sentencing: “When he was first presented at the hospital, your father’s true condition was not readily apparent.

“The fist-sized lump was either not seen or had subsided.”

Martyn Levett, the barrister representing Jordan, later told the court: “The respectable body of opinion has indicated that had there been appropriate medical treatment then it is possible that the fatality would have been avoided.”

However, it was also made clear during the court hearing that the main deterioration in Dennis’ condition only happened after he had been taken to Ipswich Hospital for the second time, shortly before his transfer to Addenbrooke’s.

An Ipswich Hospital spokesman today said: “The hospital was not involved in the criminal case proceedings and so we are unable to comment on that process.

“However, we did fully investigate Mr Folkes’ care and have been assured by a senior consultant in emergency medicine that there was a full and thorough medical assessment on both attendances to the emergency department.”

n Tell us about your experiences at Ipswich Hospital. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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