Severe traumatic head injuries was the most likely cause of a pensioner's death outside Harold Wood train station, a court has heard.

Bernard Fowler, 87, of Hamilton Drive in Harold Wood, was found badly hurt in the early hours of February 27.

British Transport Police (BTP) were called at 4.30am that day after a station staff member saw an injured man lying on the ground outside the station.

The man, since identified as Bernard, was declared dead at the scene.

Graeme Irvine, senior coroner for east London, today (March 8) opened an inquest into Bernard's death at East London Coroner's Court in Walthamstow.

Following a forensic post-mortem examination, Mr Irvine said: "The cause of death that has been offered in relation to Mr Fowler is severe traumatic head injuries."

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Romford Recorder: Bernard Fowler, 87, died outside Harold Wood stationBernard Fowler, 87, died outside Harold Wood station (Image: BTP)

Police had conducted DNA tests to identify Bernard, according to coroner's officer Jean Smyth.

Mr Irvine told the court that the cause of death could be subject to further perfection or improvement.

He has scheduled an inquest for August 24 at 10am, subject to change, and said a specialist autopsy will take place to verify Bernard's cause of death.

The senior coroner added that the death could not be described as happening by natural causes and stated that trauma was apparently the main cause.

Mr Irvine confirmed the Metropolitan Police had been investigating Bernard's death as a murder.

Sekai Miles, 22, from Brent Cross in Hendon, has been charged with murder and is due to appear at the Old Bailey on May 24 next when he will be asked to enter pleas.

There was some confusion about what his name was – on court lists his name is given as Sekai Miles, though the British Transport Police (BTP) named him as Miles Skai. 

He will not face trial until 2025 after a judge set a provisional trial date to January 2 next year. He will be asked to enter pleas on May 24.

Bernard was said to be a quiet, gentle man who was dearly loved.

“The family are devastated by the news of his death," Bernard's family, via a BTP statement, said.