Open Verdict after Conisbrough Fatality

January 1966

South Yorkshire Times January 29, 1966

Please note that the name of the Driver has been changed

Open Verdict after Conisbrough Fatality

Blood test showed that the driver of a car in which a 24-year-old Denaby miner died had more alcohol in his blood than is considered safe for the average driver, it was stated at the resumed inquest on Wednesday on Alan Lenton, of Firbeck Street, Denaby, who died in Sheffield infirmary on November 15.

The jury returned an open verdict after retiring for 30 minutes.

The coroner, Dr H Pilling, said that Lenton was a passenger in the rear of the car which collided with a lamp standard at a junction near the Station Hotel, Conisbrough, on November 7. His death was caused by a fracture of the skull.

Lamp Standard

PC F Coxon said he was called to the accident and found that a car had collided with a lamp standard. He found the driver, Mr Bernard Miller, sitting in the driving seat, which had been pushed into the rear of the car. Next day he saw Miller in hospital, and he made no objection when asked for blood and urine samples for testing.

Later PC Coxon said Miller admitted driving the car without a test certificate, driving without displaying “L” plates, driving when not accompanied by a qualified passenger, and using the car when no road found licence was in force. PC Coxon alleged Miller said he met his brother-in-law and nephew in Denaby Catholic club. There he had 2 pints of beer and later drove his relatives home to Conisbrough.

Alcohol Content

PC Coxon said that he samples showed that the blood contained 93 mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres. The normal safe level for driving was considered to be 80 mg.

PC R. M. Butterfield said that earlier in the day of the accident he had seen the car while one motor patrol on the main Doncaster Road and notice that the vehicle was not following a straight course.

He followed the car for half a mile and then overtook it and stopped. A fellow officer got out to stop the other, vehicle but in the meantime it had turned off the main road and could not be located.

Later PC Butterfield was called to the scene of the accident “I recognise the vehicle immediately,” he said. “I had made a mental note of the number earlier.”

In Club

James O’Donnell, of Peak Avenue, Conisbrough, said he met Miller in the Catholic club. He bought him a drink and later Muller went to fetch his car to drive him and Lenton home. He sat in the front of the car with Muller. Lenton was in the back, “I can remember setting off up the street but I cannot remember anything about the accident,” said O’Donnell.

Mr John Stuart Carter, of Church War, Denaby, said he was driving his father’s carbon Station Road, Conisbrough, he was about to cross a road junction when he heard a loud crash. He saw nothing of the incident. In evidence, Miller said he could not remember anything about the accident nor making a statement to PC Coxon.