Coroner: Rampage a factor in tragedy

Wayne Gamble
Wayne Gamble

A pensioner died after she was knocked over in a hospital corridor by a man on a suicidal rampage, a coroner has ruled.

Area coroner Alan Walsh said Joyce Carney was killed by a combination of factors, most notably Wayne Gamble’s reckless action.

He was being chased down by police when he accidentally knocked over Mrs Carney, causing her to suffer a broken hip.

An inquest at Bolton Coroners Court, which was planned to last three days but was concluded in two, heard Mrs Carney had a number of pre-existing conditions.

Recording a narrative verdict, Mr Walsh concluded a number of factors had resulted in the 80-year-old’s tragic death.

He told the court: “Joyce Carney died as a result of a combination of naturally occurring diseases and injuries together with the treatment of the injuries sustained when she was knocked to the floor in the corridor of a hospital by another patient who was running away from police officers in an attempt to leave the hospital.”

Gamble was jailed last June for setting to fire to his shed just yards from lethal gas canisters in his garden - but cleared of Mrs Carney’s manslaughter.

Gamble drove off from his home in Harrow Road, Marsh Green, after starting the blaze and then tried three times to kill himself with exhaust fumes in his car.

Ironically after being taken to hospital by concerned police he fled and accidentally knocked over Mrs Carney.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that his second suicide attempt was by Gathurst railway station in Orrell in the early hours of December 21 last year.

Police arrived and saw a pipe leading into his Peugeot but as officers approached he revved and reversed away and then sped forward.

One WPC had to jump backwards into brambles and another had to jump in front of the police van to avoid being hit, said Graham Pickavance, prosecuting.

About two hours later he again tried to kill himself while parked on Parbold Hill but police found him and he was taken to Wigan Infirmary, He was detained because of his mental state but when told members of the mental health team were coming to see him he “bolted”.

As he was running down a corridor Mrs Carney came out of a toilet and he caught her with his elbow or shoulder and she fell to the ground breaking her hip.

It was replaced in surgery three days later but her condition deteriorated and she died on February 10 this year.

Gamble, 49, admitted arson being reckless whether life was endangered. He denied manslaughter, dangerous driving and two offences of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm and after a trial was cleared.