DPP directs no prosecution in case of MMA fighter Joao Carvalho's death

The DPP has directed no prosecution in relation to the death of a mixed martial arts fighter who died after a fight in Dublin, writes Louise Roseingrave.

Joao Carvalho (28) died due to blunt force trauma to the head, after he was knocked during a Total Extreme Fighting (TEF) contest at the National Boxing Stadium last April.

A post mortem revealed that Mr Carvalho suffered an acute subdural hemorrhage following the fight and died at Beaumont Hospital two days later on April 11 2016.

Joao Carvalho pictured in the octagon in April.

An inquest into the Portuguese fighter's death, which opened last December at Dublin Coroner's Court, heard that no criminal charges will be brought in relation to the incident.

"We submitted a file to the DPP for consideration and the DPP directed no prosecution in this case," Inspector Paul Cleary of Kevin Street garda station told the court.

DI Cleary applied to the court for a hearing date for the full inquest. A number of witnesses including members of Mr Carvalho's family based in the UK and in Portugal are expected to travel to Dublin for the inquest.

"We have family members in the UK and in Portugal and we will arrange with them now that we have a hearing date for the inquest," DI Cleary said.

"I know his brother who is based in the UK will want to be here," DI Cleary added.

Mr Carvalho reportedly began to feel unwell around 20 minutes after a technical knock out in the third round of his fight against Irish MMA fighter Charlie Ward on Saturday April 9 2016. Mr Carvalho was representing the Portuguese club Team Nobrega at the National Boxing Stadium on Merchants Quay in Dublin. The welterweight fighter was assessed by doctors and medical staff at the TEF onsite medical office as per normal procedure. It was determined that he should be sent to hospital. Mr Carvalho was sent to Beaumont Hospital.

He was treated at the Richmond Intensive Care Unit at Beaumont Hospital, by neuro-specialty surgical, medical and nursing staff but died two days after he was admitted. Mr Carvalho was pronounced dead at the RICU unit around 10pm on April 11 2016. His brother Alexandre Carvalho identified his body to Garda Brian O’Shea of Santry Garda Station at the hospital.

State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy conducted a post mortem examination the day after his death and gave the cause of death as acute subdural hemorrhage due to blunt force trauma to the head.

The MMA fighter's sudden death became the subject of two investigations, one carried out and completed by An Garda Siochana and separate investigation by the Health and Safety Authority. Details of the HSA report are likely to be heard at the full inquest.

The case will be heard before a jury and Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said there 'some preparatory matters' that would be dealt with in relation to the case ahead of the inquest. Dr Cullinane then adjourned the inquest for full hearing this September.

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