A SUICIDAL Wigan man who set fire to his shed just yards from lethal gas canisters in his garden has been jailed - but cleared of a pensioner’s manslaughter.
Wayne 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 an elderly woman patient who suffered a broken hip and later died.
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 80-year-old Joyce 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 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.
Judge David Aubrey, QC, told Gamble, who has numerous previous convictions, that at the time he had been “spiralling downwards out of control.
“There came a time when perhaps you were seconds from death, such was your intention that night to take your own life.
“You present a sad and tragic figure and that is clearly illustrated by events on 21 December,” he added.
He said that during the trial Gamble had shown remorse and contrition for the accidental death of the pensioner but the arson offence had potentially put the lives of others at risk.
“There is no doubt you were not thinking logically and your mind was in a disturbed state. You have suffered from depression for a number of years,” he added.