A senior coroner probing the death of former NHL and Nottingham Panthers player Adam Johnson has suspended her investigation as police enquiries continue.
Johnson, 29, died after being cut in the neck by a skate during a Challenge Cup match against the Sheffield Steelers on October 28, with the Nottingham Panthers labelling it as a “freak accident”.
South Yorkshire Police (SYP) opened an investigation and a man was arrested in November on suspicion of manslaughter following Johnson’s death. He has since been bailed.
Tanyka Rawden, a senior coroner at Sheffield Coroner’s Court, has decided to suspend her examination of the evidence until July 26, although it will be resumed before then if South Yorkshire Police (SYP) concludes their investigation and the man is not charged.
Rawden held a desktop review — in private — of the progress of the investigation on January 26.
“HM Senior Coroner has reviewed the progress of the investigation into the death of Adam Johnson,” a statement read.
“Since the opening of the inquest on November 3 2023, detectives from South Yorkshire Police have arrested and questioned a man on suspicion of manslaughter.
“The suspect has been released on police bail while the investigation continues.
“In light of the fact a person may be charged with a homicide offence involving the death of the deceased, HM Senior Coroner has suspended her investigation into Mr Johnson’s death under Paragraph 1(2)(a) of Schedule 1 to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.
“If South Yorkshire Police determine before July 26 2024 that no person will be charged with a homicide offence involving the death of the deceased, the coroner will resume her investigation upon receiving notification of that decision.”
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On November 14, SYP detective chief superintendent Becs Horsfall had shed light on some detail as to the exact nature of the force’s enquiries.
“Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive enquiries ever since to piece together the events that led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances,” she said, in a statement published on the SYP website.
“We have been speaking to highly specialised experts in their field to assist in our enquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation.
“Adam’s death has sent shockwaves through many communities, from residents here to ice hockey fans across the world.”
‘A loving day and a loving night’ in Nottingham as Adam Johnson’s team-mates return to the ice
(Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)