A man killed by his mother after being left with brain damage following a fall from an ambulance leapt from the vehicle deliberately, a coroner has ruled.
Hertfordshire Coroner Edward Thomas said Tom Inglis, 22, from east London, sustained “catastrophic” head injuries after jumping from the ambulance following a fight on July 7, 2007.
Mr Inglis later died from a lethal dose of heroin injected by his mother, Frances Inglis, 58, so she could end his “living hell”. She was jailed for murder at the Old Bailey last year.
In a narrative verdict, delivered after an initial hearing in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, last month, the coroner concluded that statements given by two police officers show Mr Inglis leapt from the vehicle after refusing to wear his seat belt.
“I accept their evidence that there was no other person near Thomas at any time they saw him in the open doorway of the ambulance and I also accept their visual recollection that he jumped and did not stumble,” the coroner said.
The ambulance, which was travelling at about 30mph to the Queen’s Hospital in Romford, was found to have a faulty warning light and as a result, the driver did not realise the door was open until the patient jumped from the vehicle.
At the inquest, the attending paramedic, Madeline Basford-Herd, said Mr Inglis was unwilling to be taken to hospital and threatened to jump from the ambulance.
The coroner concluded that the paramedics had not had adequate training to determine whether Mr Inglis had given consent to be treated.
Commenting after the inquest Jason Killens, London Ambulance Service deputy director of operations, said: “We believe it was right for our crew to persuade Thomas to go to hospital based on the extent of his initial injuries.
“We will reinforce the message to our staff that they should make every effort to persuade patients to use a seat belt.”