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The killer of a man thrown down stairs in a Christchurch council flats three years ago is still walking free, the dead man's family say.

Sydney George Boyd, 66, died in Christchurch Hospital in July 2006 after tumbling down the stairwell in the Riccarton Road housing estate a week earlier.

No one had been charged over the man's death, but details released by coroner Richard McElrea at the weekend indicated at least one of the people who lived in the flats knew what had happened, The Press reported today.

Mr Boyd was visiting a neighbour on May 23, 2006 when he saw an extension power cord leading from the communal laundry to one of flats.

He unplugged the cord, and the flat's inhabitant came out, followed him up the stairs and began arguing with him.

Mr Boyd was later critically injured at the foot of the stairwell

The family criticised police for not interviewing Mr Boyd in hospital and for not cracking what they called the "closed shop" of the estate.

"[The residents] have got their own little township. No one dares speak out," Mr Boyd's brother, Kevin Boyd, said.

He believed a third man was also involved, after a psychic consulted by the family suggested the involvement of another man.

The officer heading the investigation told the inquest he thought the Mr Boyd would have recovered from the fall.

"I probably should have gone to see him in ICU, but I didn't. I have had to live with that," Detective Geoffrey Rudduck said.