Silverdale train passenger tried to give first aid to man as he choked on food, manslaughter trial is told

A train passenger has described the moment he heard screams for help as a man choked on a packed train.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 12:58 pm

Patrick Wood, who had been on a day out in Lancaster with his former colleagues, told jurors there was " commotion and panic" when Lancaster FC football fan David Clark collapsed.

He tried in vain to administer first aid to him.

Brother and sister David Noble, 32, of Main Street, Grange, and Nicola Cavin, 22, of Market Street, Grange are on trial at a Nightingale Court at Preston North End's football ground accused of the manslaughter of Mr Clark after he choked to death from food that was allegedly 'force fed' to him as he slept.

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Giving evidence, Mr Wood said he was kneeling on the train as it was packed with passengers, including a hen party, and was about three metres away from Mr Clark's table when he realised something was wrong.

Prosecutor Ian Unsworth QC asked if there was "something said that made you realise something had happened?"

Mr Wood replied: " Yes - because it was quite busy and people had been out for the day it was loud, but over the top of everyone having a laugh and a joke I could hear someone shouting: 'Help, help he's choking".

"I was looking where the noise was coming from.

"Just looking at the situation there was a few people, and everyone was in panic mode and no one was really acting to help him, so I made my way down the carriage towards him, past a couple of people and attempted to help."

He said he had first aid training and that although it was out of date it was "better to do something than nothing."

However, when he tried to lift the man he was a "dead weight" and he needed assistance from another passenger.

Mr Wood, who described Mr Clark as "slouched, sitting down in the aisle", told the court he tried to compress his stomach to try to clear the blockage and gave him five to six compressions under his rib cage.

He said: "My arm was wet so I assumed he was bringing up whatever had been choking him."

He added as he looked around to his side he saw Miss Cavin, who said: " It's out."

He was then aware of the train guard approaching, who advised him to put the man down.

(proceeding)

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