Good samaritan helped hypothermia victim

The Coroners Court, Basil Close, Chesterfield.
The Coroners Court, Basil Close, Chesterfield.

A good samaritan zipped-up the jacket of a man on the street who later died of hypothermia because he looked “very cold”, an inquest heard.

Anthony Moulson, 43, died on the morning of May 1, 2013, after a night sleeping rough at Matlock Green petrol station in temperatures of three degrees Celsius.

Chesterfield Coroner’s Court heard yesterday (Thurs) that good samaritan Lisa Slack was driving to work at around 6am when she saw Mr Moulson slumped against a shop near to the petrol station.

Ms Slack, who works as a lifeguard at Matlock Leisure Centre, said she turned her car around after passing him, to go and check if he was alright.

She said: “I tried to speak to him but there was no real response at that time. I was a bit frightened as whether to touch him or not.”

Ms Slack said a car drove past, so she flagged it down, and another lady came to assist her. She also called the police.

Ms Slack said: “He seemed very cold so we zipped his jacket up and he started to slur words like ‘taxi, taxi’.”

The court heard that Mr Moulson did not have high levels of alcohol in his system at postmortem, but that the onset of hypothermia does slow brain capacity, which could be confused for somebody being intoxicated.

The jury previously heard that police arrived shortly after Ms Slack’s call at 5.55am.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, Detective Inspector Joanne Brett, who investigated the incident, said officers assessed he was “communicating well” and left him standing by the shop.

The court heard that two different officers – who were off-duty and on their way home – saw Mr Moulson sitting in the same position at 6.59am.

Upon approaching him, one of the officers believed Mr Moulson had died and called for assistance from police and paramedics.

Despite resuscitation attempts, Mr Moulson was pronounced dead at Chesterfield Royal Hospital at 10.05am.

A post-mortem cited hypothermia as the primary cause of death, and recorded a defect with Mr Molson’s heart valve as a secondary factor.

The court heard Mr Moulson – who was well known to police – lived a “chaotic lifestyle” and drank excessively.

The jury was told he made 173 malicious calls to police in a ten-year period and was due to appear at Chesterfield Magistrates Court on related charges on the day he died.

A conclusion is likely to be delivered later today (Friday).

The inquest continues.