Mentally-ill man ran into path of lorry

A PARANOID schizophrenic and alcohol abuser from Ipswich who had a fixation with traffic - sometimes even directing it - was killed when he was run over by a lorry, an inquest heard.

A PARANOID schizophrenic and alcohol abuser from Ipswich who had a fixation with traffic - sometimes even directing it - was killed when he was run over by a lorry, an inquest heard.

David Brinton was killed when he darted in front of an articulated truck on Commercial Street, in east London, on October 13 last year, Poplar coroner's court heard yesterday.

Mr Brinton, who had suffered from mental illness since 1991, had been reported missing from his home in Burrell Road, Ipswich.

The court heard how the 38-year-old had a habit of disappearing to London and became agitated by traffic when he had been drinking.


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Ipswich-based social worker David Brown told coroner Dr Andrew Reid how Mr Brinton's mental illness was made worse by alcohol.

“When he had been drinking David became quite excited by traffic,” he said.

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“He had been known to shout at cars and on one occasion he was even directing traffic.”

Eyewitness Louise Rooney was walking home from her Bishopsgate-based job around 5.30pm when she saw Mr Brinton waiting at the junction of Brushfield Street and Commercial Street in the Liverpool Street area.

“Out of the corner of my eye I saw him dart out into the traffic on Commercial Street,” she told the court.

“I didn't see the actual accident but I saw that he was trapped under the wheel of the lorry - it was horrible to see.”

Miss Rooney said she had seen Mr Brinton drinking from a can of lager and that he was carrying a bag full of cans of beer. A toxicology report revealed that Mr Brinton had been drinking heavily.

Lorry driver Robin Musgrove told the inquest how he had been waiting in a queue of traffic on Commercial Street before the accident happened.

“As soon as I started moving I felt a bump and heard someone shout 'stop'. I didn't know what had happened,” he said.

Collision investigator Pc Christopher Thorne explained that Mr Musgrove would not have been able to see Mr Brinton from the cab of the lorry as he was too high up.

“If he was within a metre of the front of the cab, Mr Brinton would have been completely invisible to Mr Musgrove,” he said.

A passing cyclist who worked as a trauma surgeon attempted to resuscitate Mr Brinton but he died at the scene.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Dr Reid said Mr Brinton had died of chest injuries.

He said: “It is appropriate for me to record that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia which was exacerbated by his abuse of alcohol and that was a contributing factor to his death.”

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