CORONER: Matthew Mitchell's killer still unidentified
THE inquest into the suspicious death of Matthew Mitchell has found the Sandy Beach resident died after being struck by a motor vehicle.
Mr Mitchell, who was 30 at the time of his death, was found on Graham Dr with a serious head injury following a nearby party on August 17, 2013.
He was transferred to Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital where he remained comatose for about one month, until he died of complications from his head injury on September 19.
The NSW Coroner's Court was tasked with determining the circumstances surrounding his death.
"I find that Matthew Luke Mitchell died on September 19, 2013 at Royal North Shore Hospital, as a result of a head injury occasioned by an impact with a moving vehicle, moving at speed, while he was walking or standing on the road," Magistrate Helen Barry wrote in her findings.
"I am satisfied on the evidence that Matthew was killed as a result of a motor vehicle collision.
"There is insufficient evidence, to establish to the required standard, the identity of the person driving the vehicle."
The findings said an autopsy in 2013 found the cause of death to be a head injury caused by a blunt object.
"The absence of described other injuries to the organs of the body and the skeletal structures is not typical of a pedestrian v motor vehicle collision," the initial autopsy stated.
A further report in 2015 found Mr Mitchell's injury resulting from impact with a car was in fact "entirely possible".
The autopsy report found considerable force had been applied to Mr Mitchell and his injury could not have been caused by a fist or falling and hitting his head.
Mr Mitchell's friend and the last person believed to have seen him alive, Aaron Gordon, did not give evidence at the inquest after being certified medically unfit to do so.
The coroner's report stated Mr Mitchell and Mr Gordon were seen together on Graham Dr, where it's likely Mr Mitchell was trying to get a "pretty drunk" and "agitated" Mr Gordon off the roadway.
"The failure of Aaron Gordon to give evidence not only denies the court an opportunity to hear his explanation, but denies Matthew's family the opportunity to understand what took place in the moments before Matthew's death," Magistrate Barry's findings concluded.