Unexplained Death Case of Church Organist Could Be Reopened

After Coroner rules Sean Keohane was ‘probably’ victim of an assault


Sean Keohane was a well known member of the community and at Our Lady of Grace & St Edwards where he was the organist for many years

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The Police in Chiswick

An investigation into the cause of Sean Keohane’s death could be reopened after a coroner ruled the Chiswick man was probably the victim of an assault.

More than two years after his death, an inquest heard how 66 year old Mr Keohane’s could have died as a result of an attack which left him with a fractured skull although the coroner was only 55% sure.

It was September 2007 when Police identified Sean Keohane as the man found dead in a basement of house on Chiswick High Road. He had been seen knocking on doors in the area having suffered a head injury and Police believe he may have been confused and was looking for his home address.

His body was discovered after officers were called around 1.00am on Saturday 8th. Mr Keohane was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sean Keohane was a well known member of the Chiswick community and of the parish of Our Lady of Grace & St Edwards where he was the organist for many years.

Local police were criticised for not having reacted more promptly to the call from a resident alerting them to Mr Keohane’s circumstances. An internal review was launched following what was deemed a "major failure of service".

At the time Chief Superintendent David Bilson told ChiswickW4.com "A resident called for emergency help 'about a drunk' and in the demands of a busy night, they did not get the response they should have done."

He continued "I have received a number of comments about the reliability of our service and therefore have commenced a major review of our operation's resilience, strength and efficiency.

At the inquest held last week a formal apology was made by the Police to Mr Keohane’s family. A spokesperson for the Police said, “We are genuinely sorry the response from the police was insufficient.”

Chief Superintendent David Bilson said he would not rule out re-opening the investigation into Mr Keohane’s death.

August 11, 2009