Inquest into death of Peter Roebuck

Inquest into death of former Somerset captain Roebuck adjourned

The inquest into the death of cricket writer and former Somerset captain Peter Roebuck was opened and adjourned on Wednesday.

Roebuck, 55, had been covering the
Test series between the Proteas and Australia in Cape Town, South
Africa, in November last year when it is understood he jumped from his
hotel room window.

Roebuck was reportedly questioned by police about an allegation of sexual assault prior to his death.

Apparent suicide: Peter Roebuck

In his prime: Roebuck in action during a match

Inquest adjourned: Roebuck in his second career (left) in his prime (right)

Today the Coroner for Cheshire, Nicholas Rheinberg, formally opened the inquest at Warrington Coroner's Court and then adjourned the case for a date yet to be fixed.

The inquest heard that Roebuck's family ordered a second post mortem to take place in South Africa and that Rheinberg then ordered a third post mortem which took place last Monday at Liverpool Royal Hospital.

Detective Inspector Dougie Shaw said the initial findings of the UK post mortem found injuries of 'severe blunt force trauma consistent with a fall from height'.

Shaw said the circumstances surrounding the death were still 'unclear' and that police were still trying to gather information from the South African authorities.

A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: 'The South African authorities have reported that Mr Peter Michael Roebuck, of Neston, Cheshire, died after falling from a building in Cape Town, South Africa, in November 2011.

'Whilst the full findings of the post mortem are still to be established, at this stage the indication is that Mr Roebuck did have injuries consistent with a fall.

'Cheshire Police are now conducting inquiries on behalf of HM Coroner into the circumstances of Mr Roebuck's death.'

Roebuck, who had been working for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, captained Somerset and opened the batting for much of the 1980s and passed 1,000 runs nine times in 12 seasons.

He was born in Oxford and moved to Australia and South Africa following his retirement.

Roebuck became a respected columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Cricinfo alongside his commentary duties.

His uniquely opinionated brand of journalism made him one of the game's best-known media men.

He travelled regularly with the Australia cricket team and split the rest of his year living between Sydney and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

In 2001, Roebuck was handed a four-month suspended jail sentence after admitting charges of common assault against three South African teenagers, who he had caned following a coaching session.

At the time of the fall in November last year, Captain Frederick van Wyk of Cape Town Police told reporters the death was being treated as a suicide.

The South African Police Service said there was nothing to suggest foul play had been involved but that a lengthy process would need to take place before a formal cause of death could be conveyed.