Mother's anger after inquest hearing
A MOTHER who lost her only son in a motorcycle crash said last night that she had been “disgusted” by the inquest into his death.At the end of yesterday's hearing into the death of 32-year-old Tony Sefton, from Chelmsford, his mother Ann slammed the table and said: “Not good enough.
A MOTHER who lost her only son in a motorcycle crash said last night that she had been “disgusted” by the inquest into his death.
At the end of yesterday's hearing into the death of 32-year-old Tony Sefton, from Chelmsford, his mother Ann slammed the table and said: “Not good enough.”
And as Essex Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded her verdict of accidental death, a friend of Mrs Sefton's called out: “If only you had listened to the evidence.”
Outside Chelmsford Coroner's Court yesterday, former London ambulance driver Mrs Sefton described the proceedings as “pathetic” and insisted many of her family's questions remained unanswered.
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Father-of-three Mr Sefton, of Foxglove Way, Springfield, died following the accident on May 14 last year. The double-glazier was not married.
Mrs Sefton, who is leading a campaign for more ambulance cover in the county town, said she accepted the inquest verdict, but added: “Today has brought us no conclusion and I believe my precious son's death has been brushed under the carpet.
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“We wanted the full facts to come out, but they haven't. We don't know what made him crash, how many parked cars there were and whether something happened that made him swerve. No one knows that.
“All of us have been devastated by our loss and although we know that he will never come back, we vow to fight on - this is not the end.”
During the emotionally charged hearing at Shire Hall yesterday, Mrs Sefton and her family continually pressed a string of witnesses to the crash on the detail of their evidence.
At one stage, Mrs Beasley-Murray was forced to raise her voice and declare: “I'm in charge of this court” as Mrs Sefton questioned one woman, who had become distressed recalling the image of a high-speed bike coming towards her car.
The inquest heard how on a day that had been showery, driving conditions in Gloucester Avenue, Chelmsford were good.
Witnesses said the road was dry and visibility was bright. However, it was picking-up time from a nearby school and parents were walking with children on the pavements.
Susan Mould, who was not at the inquest yesterday, told police in a statement that she was walking along with her five-year-old son and pushing a pram when she heard a motorbike come from behind and approach the large bend ahead of her.
“It was travelling at about 50mph,” her statement said. “There were parked cars on both sides of the road, which narrowed it. He seemed unable to steer the bike and it went up on the kerb and rebounded into a wall.”
Pc Ian Donaldson, traffic investigating officer with Chelmsford police, told the inquest that the bike would have smashed into the kerb and travelled for some distance along the pavement before hitting a wall and a lamppost.
He said that if Mr Sefton had been travelling at 50mph that was “excessive” in the 30mph zone. He added it was possible that the father-of-three had tried to brake and avoid oncoming traffic and this had caused him smash into the kerb.
Mr Sefton ended up lying in the middle of the road as passers-by came to help. He was taken to Broomfield Hospital with severe head injuries, but died from haemorrhaging the next day.
Tests concluded no alcohol or drugs were in his body at the time of the crash.
After the hearing, Anthony Marsh, chief executive of Essex Ambulance Service, which has been criticised by Mrs Sefton because an ambulance only managed to attend 26 minutes after the first 999 call - seven minutes outside its guidelines - said: “We fully sympathise with the family about this terrible tragedy, but this was an isolated incident.”
On Monday, Mrs Sefton delivered a 5,641-name petition calling for more ambulances in Chelmsford to 10 Downing Street.