Prisoner killed on A14 after fighting with his girlfriend, inquest hears
- Credit: Archant
Prisoner Carl Samuel who was killed on the A14 in Suffolk after jumping in front of a lorry had been arguing with his girlfriend over his fears of “failing to live up to her expectations”, an inquest has heard.
The hip-hop musician, 22, of Dagenham, Essex, who was serving a prison sentence for causing death by dangerous driving, died after being struck by an articulated lorry on January 15, 2011. He was an inmate at Hollesley Bay at the time.
A statement from his girlfriend Carla Fuller read out yesterday to jurors at the first day of the inquest into his death described the moments leading up to the fatal collision.
It told how Fuller, Samuel and two friends visited McDonalds in Cardinal Park in Ipswich and a nearby hotel during his day release from the open prison.
After the friends left, Fuller and Samuel, who were best friends for 10 years before their “on and off” six-year relationship, discussed a letter he wrote to her after she was unable to visit him the previous weekend.
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He said he was “not strong anymore” and said she was the only person who made him “feel happy” but also made him “feel the worst in the world”.
The inquest was told an argument ensued in which both Samuel and Fuller shouted at each other. He said he would “not be the person” she wanted after being released from prison and expressed fears over “failing to live up to her expectations”.
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When later cross examined, Fuller said that she told Samuel that he was being “stupid” for believing that.
The jury was told Samuel ordered Fuller to drive to a multi-storey car park near the Waterfront in Ipswich. They drove up to the eighth floor, where Samuel jumped out and tried but failed to open a security door.
Samuel said he was “going to jump off, but f*** that”, the jury was told.
They then drove the usual way back to Hollesley Bay on the A14 but Samuel told her to pull in to a layby eastbound near Levington after saying he did not want to go back.
Samuel smoked a joint “which smelt like cannabis” and phoned his mum, Susan, and sister Tammika, the inquest heard.
He suddenly got out of the car and faced oncoming traffic, causing Fuller to become “hysterical” and “really concerned” that he might kill himself. He had been “quiet” since the argument and was even quieter after smoking the joint. She kept asking what was wrong but he did not respond. She cried, hugged him and insisted they could “sort out” his problems, jurors heard.
But he threw her to the floor and, with Fuller “crawling” towards him and trying to grab his trousers, crouched down and “leapt like a star jump” in front of a lorry at around 5.40pm.
The statement added: “I believe Carl intended to end his life in a split second decision there and then.”
Under cross examination, she said the lorry driver would not have been able to see him.
Jurors were earlier told that Samuel “loved his family dearly” and protected Tammika from school bullies, but was “sometimes hot-headed”.
He was “a lot happier” at Hollesley Bay after previously trying to hang himself in another prison after suffering “nightmares” over killing a pedestrian on his motorbike in London in 2009 – the offence for which he had been imprisoned for five years.
The inquest at IP-City Centre in Bath Street, Ipswich, is set to hear from more than 30 witnesses and could last three weeks.
It continues tomorrow.