Retired civil servant, 72 years old, died from heart attack after being pushed over by another dog walker. Inquest hears as his family criticizes police for dropping criminal charges

  • Ralph Baxter (72), a retired civil servant from Roade, Northants, died after being pushed to the ground in an argument. This was an inquest that was heard this week.
  • After an altercation in April 2020 with another dog walker, he had a heart attack.
  • His family has called for a change in law after no charges were filed in connection to his death.
  • The 27-year-old man was a restaurant worker from the same village. He was arrested under suspicion of murder and released without further action

After being pushed over by another dog walker in an argument, the family of a man who died from his injuries has called for a change in law.

Ralph Baxter (retired civil servant, MBE), suffered a heart attack after the altercation in Roade (Northants), in April 2020. An inquest in Northampton was heard this week.

The other man, a 27 year-old restaurant worker from the village, was also arrested and taken into custody on suspicion of murder. However, he was released without further action.

The row began when the younger man’s husky attacked Mr Baxter’s beloved shih tzu and Mr Baxter tried to separate the animals.

Retired civil servant Ralph Baxter, MBE, (pictured) who was 72, suffered a heart attack following the altercation in Roade, Northants, in April 2020, an inquest in Northampton heard this week

Ralph Baxter, a retired civil servant and MBE (pictured), suffered a heart attack in April 2020 after an altercation at Roade, Northants. A Northampton inquest heard this week.

After being pushed to his death, Mr Baxter who had previously worked for the Dept for Work and Pensions, returned to his home.

An inquest in Northampton found that he had ischaemic heart disease. He collapsed and was declared dead an hour later.

Assistant Coroner Jonathan Dixey recorded in his narrative conclusion that: ‘Death occurred following a verbal and physical altercation.’ The causes of death were ‘Ia) Ischaemic Heart Disease and II) Verbal and physical altercation’

The row began in Roade, Northamptonshire (pictured) when the younger man’s husky attacked Mr Baxter’s beloved shih tzu on a dog walk and Mr Baxter tried to separate the animals

The row began in Roade, Northamptonshire (pictured) when the younger man’s husky attacked Mr Baxter’s beloved shih tzu on a dog walk and Mr Baxter tried to separate the animals

Mr Baxter died leaving behind Anne, a widow, and three stepchildren.

Speaking for the first time, his sister Joy Wood released a statement to MailOnline expressing the family’s dismay at the lack of any charges.

She wrote: ‘It has been already well documented that no criminal proceedings were brought following this tragic incident and, while we respect the Coroner’s verdict, we are disappointed that a verdict of unlawful killing was not recorded in this case.

‘Ralph was much loved and respected by all who knew him. He was a dedicated public servant throughout his long and distinguished civil service career and he was a passionate supporter of workers’ rights.

After the attack, Mr Baxter returned home (pictured) but sadly collapsed and died an hour later

After the attack, Mr Baxter returned to his home (pictured), but unfortunately he succumbed to his injuries and died an hour later.

‘He had a tremendous desire to improve society through his interest in local politics and was awarded an MBE for this lifetime of public service.

‘He was a much loved and adored family man and is missed deeply by all of those close to him. Our family’s pain is made all the worse because we feel that there hasn’t been any justice for him.

‘Our sincere hope is that this awful case will ultimately lead to a change in our judicial system and that someone within Government has the wisdom and courage to make that change happen.’

The DWP official who served for more than 40 years was often seen out with his dog by his neighbors.

Mr Baxter (pictured) left a widow, Anne, and three step-children and was described as 'a lovely quiet man' by neighbours who often saw him out with his dog (pictured)

Pictured: Mr Baxter (pictured). He left Anne, a widow and three step-children. He was described by neighbours as a ‘lovely, quiet man’ who often saw him out walking his dog (pictured).

One resident of the Northamptonshire village, who was sleeping, said that Ralph made it to his home just a few hundred yards.

“A friend asked him if he was okay, and his wife said that he had died.” 

A neighboring woman paid tribute to him saying: “He was a lovely quiet gentleman who would often walk his dog. We only knew him as Ralph.

For 43 years, Mr Baxter worked at the Department of Work and Pensions and was a well known leader in Labour trade unionism.

He was awarded an MBE on the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his public service.