AN INQUEST has opened into the death of a man at the centre of a Southampton murder investigation.

Winchester Coroner’s Court yesterday heard Perry Cardy, of Thornhill Park Road, Thornhill, died at Southampton General Hospital on Sunday, April 21.

Mr Cardy was rushed to hospital on Friday, April 19, having suffered life-threatening injuries during the incident outside the Bittern pub, also in Thornhill Park Road, at around 9.40am.

During the brief hearing, pathologist Dr Russell Delaney gave a preliminary cause of death of a “blunt force impact head injury”.

One man has appeared in court accused murdering Mr Cardy during the incident.

Harry Joyce, 27, of Barry Road, Southampton, appeared before Winchester Crown Court on April 24.

More than half a dozen people were in the public gallery to witness the brief court hearing, where Joyce spoke only to confirm his identity.

Judge Keith Cutler adjourned the hearing, setting a preliminary trial date of October 2.

Joyce is expected to enter a plea to the charge of murder at a hearing on July 10.

Senior coroner Grahame Short adjourned the inquest to November 15, although due to the criminal court proceeding it is possible it may not take place.

As previously reported, tributes to the “lovely” Mr Cardy poured in on social media when the news of his death broke last month.

One user posted: “Certainly was a lovely funny [man]. Condolences to his friends and family.”

Another said: “RIP Perry. Such a lovely bloke.”

A third read: “Always had a smile. RIP Perry.”

The pub was closed all weekend following the incident, while police officers carried out their investigations.