Leap from ambulance injured 'mercy killing' man

Image caption Thomas Inglis suffered severe head injuries in 2007

A man murdered in a "mercy killing" by his mother after being left brain damaged in a fall from an ambulance had deliberately leapt from the vehicle, a coroner has ruled.

Tom Inglis, 22, from east London, sustained "catastrophic" head injuries after jumping from the ambulance following a fight in July 2007.

He later died from a heroin overdose injected by his mother, Frances Inglis.

Ms Inglis, 58, of Essex, was jailed for murder in January 2010.

A jury at the Old Bailey found her guilty of the attempted murder of her son in September 2007 and his murder in November 2008, both at his Hertfordshire care home.

She must serve a minimum of nine years.

'Refused seat belt'

In a narrative verdict, Hertfordshire Coroner Edward Thomas concluded that statements given by two police officers showed 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.

Image caption Frances Inglis must serve at least nine years in prison

The ambulance, which was travelling at about 30mph to the Queen's Hospital in Romford, was found to have a faulty warning light that would normally indicate to the driver if the door was not closed, the inquest heard.

The ambulance driver did not realise the door was open until the patient had jumped from the vehicle.

The coroner also concluded that the paramedics had not had adequate training to determine whether Mr Inglis had given consent to be treated.

He also raised concerns about the 12-minute delay before a trauma team was assembled to treat Mr Inglis once he had arrived at hospital.

Commenting after the inquest Jason Killens, London Ambulance Service deputy director of operations, said: "We will reinforce the message to our staff that they should make every effort to persuade patients to use a seat belt."

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