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Double amputee killed by rolling car in hospital car park after woman left handbrake off

A wheelchair-bound double amputee was knocked down and killed by runaway car in a hospital car park after the woman driver parked but left the handbrake off, an inquest has heard.

Pensioner Frederick Morton had arrived at the hospital and asked for directions to the wheelchair accessibility unit when he was struck down by the out-of-control silver Vauxhall Zafira which had rolled out of its parking bay and rumbled towards him.

Despite the efforts of paramedics and doctors from an air ambulance, Mr Morton - who previously had had both legs amputated - was declared dead at the scene.

Witnesses told the coroner how they had seen Mr Morton wheeling himself across the car park before spotting the rolling Zafira heading towards him.

In a statement read by the Berkshire coroner, nursing auxiliary Virginia Stalley described how she saw the 79-year-old try to get out of the way of the oncoming car after he noticed it rolling towards him, but it was too late.

Staff and patients at St Marks Hospital in Maidenhead, Berks., rushed to the aid of Mr Morton and two men held the car in place until police and paramedics arrived.

Sergeant Dean Franklin tried to open the car but after discovering it was locked used his baton to smash the window and pull on the handbrake, which he said had not been applied when he reached into the car.

"I saw there was a white elderly gentleman trapped underneath the vehicle," he said in a written statement to the inquest in Reading.

The air ambulance was scrambled but doctors could not save Mr Morton, who lived at Ploughlands in Bracknell, and he died from multiple injuries, including fractures to all his ribs and chest.


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Anne-Marie Ellement's family 'delighted' by verdict

Anne-Marie Ellement's sister Sharon Hardy has read out a statement to the media, on behalf of the family.

She said: "The family are delighted with this verdict we have today.

"The coroner has confirmed what we have always known - that Anne-Marie was treated appallingly and let down by the Army.

Anne-Marie Ellement's sister Sharon Hardy reads a statement to the media. Credit: ITV News

"She was never able to recover from the allegation of rape she made in Germany.

"She then suffered bullying by the Army and was subjected to unacceptable work practices.

"Victims of sexual abuse in the Army need proper support, which the coroner has recognised, and we are delighted with his recommendations."

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Army 'deeply regrets' death of Corporal Ellement

The Army deeply regrets the tragic death of Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement and although there were aspects of her care that were praised, I want to apologise to her family for the failures that the Coroner has identified. This second inquest has been an extremely thorough investigation by Her Majesty's Coroner, and Anne-Marie's family has shown great dignity throughout. We now have a clear understanding of the complex circumstances surrounding her death and, where the Army needs to learn lessons.

Our priority is to study the Coroner's conclusions and then identify what further steps can be taken, to help prevent a recurrence of this kind of tragedy in the future. At present, however, our thoughts and sympathy lie with Anne-Marie's family at this difficult time.

– Brigadier John Donnelly, Director of Personal Services

Coroner calls for MOD to review care for vulnerable soldiers

A coroner has called on the Ministry of Defence to review its care for vulnerable soldiers after he ruled that bullying, the "lingering" mental effects of an alleged rape, "work-related despair" and a romantic break-up were all factors in the death of Anne-Marie Ellement.

Nicholas Rheinberg concluded that she hanged herself at Bulford Barracks in Wiltshire two years after she alleged that two soldiers raped her while she was stationed in Germany.

But Mr Rheinberg said in the inquest that, although the care given to Corporal Ellement in the aftermath of the allegation had been of "high quality", the transfer of information when she returned to the UK had been "unforgivably bad."

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Bullying among factors in death of Corporal Ellement

Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement. Credit: Family handout.

Bullying, the "lingering" mental effects of an alleged rape, "work-related despair" and a romantic break-up were all factors in the death of Corporal Anne-Marie Ellement who committed suicide in an Army barracks, coroner Nicholas Rheinberg has ruled at a Salisbury inquest.

Corporal Ellement, 30, was found dead at Bulford Barracks near Salisbury in Wiltshire on October 9, 2011.