Man dies after 'living in fear' for six years after bike crash

Gilly Gilbert-Harris died following injury complications in February this year Credit: BPM Media

A motorcyclist has died nearly six years after an accident that left him needing full-time care.

Gilly Gilbert-Harris died in February after sustaining a spinal injury from a motorbike crash in August 2016.

An inquest into his death was held in Truro on Thursday 25 August.

The court heard the accident took place in Newlyn, when Mr Gilbert-Harris hit another car after losing control while pulling a wheelie.

At the time, Tim Brooks from Devon and Cornwall Police said the accident was down to “rider error”.

During the inquest hearing, Mr Gilbert-Harris' sister Debbie said she believed her brother was let down by his care company before he died.

She told the inquest Mr Gilbert-Harris was not able to feed himself, and lived in fear of choking on his food.

He eventually moved to an adaptive flat where he was meant to have regular care visits, but she said he was often left alone.

Debbie said: “At times he had no carers, which made me very upset and angry. I promised him he’d never be alone. I viewed rotas of the care company and found that at times he had no care whatsoever."

Mr Gilbert-Harris died without any family around him after becoming breathless and going into respiratory arrest.

His cause of death was put down to bronchopneumonia, linked to paraplegia and a cervical spine injury.

Cornwall’s assistant coroner, Stephen Covell, said life was "very difficult" for Mr Gilbert-Harris as a result of his condition and anxiety. 

He added: “Gilly was hospitalised on a number of occasions, suffering from a variety of infections before contracting a chest infection he was unable to recover from. His condition left him susceptible to infections.”