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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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Mum dragged friend out of house to die in street, inquest told

A mum has told how she dragged the body of a friend out of her house after he started to overdose, leaving him to die in the street.

Lisa Noble photo
Lisa Noble

Related: Two jailed after leaving man to die on Cumbria street

Related: Man who helped dump dying man on street sentenced by court

Lisa Noble apologised and claimed she only did so because another man threatened her with a knife.

An inquest into the death of Sean Thompson, 37, of Grasmere Avenue, Workington, heard how he had been taking drugs with Noble and Douglas Foster when he started to overdose.

Noble told the inquest that she wanted to phone an ambulance but herself and her son, Anthony Duncan, 20, were both threatened by Foster with a knife and he took their mobile phones off them.

“He didn’t want to get an ambulance because he knew he was going to be in big trouble,” she said.

She added that Foster forced Duncan to help him drag Mr Thompson’s body out of the house and dump him in the street.

At the time of the incident, in November 2011, both Foster, 58, and Noble, 39, repeatedly lied to police.

Noble said: “I wanted to tell the police but I was frightened. I made a stupid lie up. I am really sorry.”

All three defendants admitted perverting the course of justice at Carlisle Crown Court last July. Foster was jailed for five years and Noble for 32 months. Duncan was sentenced in August to 15 months in a young offenders’ institution.

Duncan was due to give evidence at the inquest but refused.

Coroner David Roberts decided it was not appropriate to take any action because of his mental health.

On the day of Mr Thompson’s death, police were called at 7pm to a house where he was living with his girlfriend Jill Routledge.

Police said that it appeared Mr Thompson – known to friends as ‘Pants’ – had been drinking but wasn’t a danger to himself.

Officers were called out again shortly after 8.30pm following a report of a domestic situation, but Mr Thompson had left the house when they arrived.

Miss Routledge, who had been dating Mr Thompson for three months, told police that he had drunk three cans of Stella Artois lager and taken between £30 and £40 of her money, which she believed he would use to buy heroin.

Mr Thompson’s body was then found outside of Noble’s house on Curwen Street by passerby Angela Dunbabin at around 9.45pm.

Mrs Dunbabin’s husband Andrew and their neighbour Stephen McNalley put him into the recovery position and phoned an ambulance.

He was declared dead shortly before 11pm at the West Cumberland Hospital.

Two days after Mr Thompson’s death, police found the coat he was wearing that night dumped in a nearby litter bin.

The inquest heard that Mr Thompson had a history of drug use and had previously overdosed on heroin.

In a written statement, Sue Ashton, a mental health nurse, said he was prescribed suboxone in 2010 to help with his heroin addiction. In April 2011 he came off it because he wanted to become drug free.

The inquest is expected to conclude today.

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