Murder attempt survivor was killed by double decker bus on Kirkgate

RTA involving a bus and a pedestrian on Kirkgate, Wakefield on 18/03/12
RTA involving a bus and a pedestrian on Kirkgate, Wakefield on 18/03/12
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A MAN killed by a bus in the city centre may have stumbled due to a serious leg injury sustained when he previously survived a murder attempt.

Paul Coombes, 58, suffered a fatal brain injury when he was struck by a double decker Arriva bus outside Crown House, Kirkgate, on April 18.

An inquest was told Mr Coombes was struck at a pedestrian crossing where the light for traffic was green and pedestrian light was red.

Giving evidence, bus driver Andrew Scanlan, said: “The lights were on green when I got to the crossing and he just walked straight out in front of me.”

Mr Scanlan added: “All of a sudden he appeared and I had to brake.”

In June 2009, Stephen Kelly, 20, attacked Mr Coombes with a claw hammer in an assault so brutal doctors feared both Mr Coombes’ legs would have to be amputated.

At Kelly’s sentencing hearing in September 2009, Leeds Crown Court heard the two men had a sexual relationship after Mr Coombes allowed Kelly to stay at his flat in Albion Street.

But Kelly took over the flat and Mr Coombes decided he wanted him out after Kelly brought a 15-year-old girl home. He used the claw hammer to hit Mr Coombes repeatedly in the head, kneecaps and legs, with enough force to break his leg in three separate places.

Kelly, of Wren Street, Paddock, Huddersfield, was jailed for the public protection and told he would serve at least six years after admitting attempted murder.

Recording a verdict of accidental death at yesterday’s inquest, deputy coroner Melanie Williamson said: “For some reason Mr Coombes became positioned immediately in front of the bus as the bus was approaching the pedestrian crossing, giving the bus driver absolutely no opportunity to take evasive action.”

She added: “It is pure speculation whether or not he stumbled due to having sustained a very severe leg injury some years previous to that.

“It may be because the middle lane of traffic wasn’t flowing as well as it may have been and he thought the lights had turned to red.”