Widower took his own life and tried to kill his disabled son

Widower, 83, took his own life and tried to kill his 55-year-old disabled son by stepping out in front of a bus after he was left caring for him alone following the death of his wife, inquest hears

  • Thomas Daley, 83, from Hartlepool, deliberately stepped out in front of bus 36
  • Initially police believed it to be a tragic accident until they viewed CCTV footage
  • The footage was clear and Mr Daley intentionally stepped out pulling his son, 55
  • Emergency crews were called to Catcote Road on March 21 at around 8.10am
  • For help, you can call Samaritans for free on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org

A widower killed himself and tried to take the life of his disabled son by stepping out in front of a bus, an inquest has heard.

Thomas Daley, 83, from Hartlepool, deliberately stepped out in front of the number 36 bus, pulling with him his 55-year-old son, who has special educational needs and sight problems.

The inquest heard that Mr Daley was the carer for his son since he lost his wife a few years ago.

The court heard that initially police believed it to be a tragic accident until they viewed the CCTV footage. 

The inquest was told the footage was very clear and Mr Daley intentionally stepped out pulling his son, who he was linking, with him.

In a statement from Cleveland Police it was made clear that had Mr Daley survived the incident he would have been investigated for the attempted murder of his son who suffered an injury to his thigh in the incident.

Thomas Daley, 83, from Hartlepool, deliberately stepped out in front of the number 36 bus, pulling with him his 55-year-old son, who has special educational needs and sight problems

Emergency crews, including the Great North Air Ambulance, were called to Hartlepool’s Catcote Road following the rush-hour collision on March 21 this year at around 8.10am. 

Passengers on the bus, which was carrying school children, previously told how they rushed to help a man screaming in pain before realising there was a second person under the bus.

The inquest heard that Mr Daley, of Dalkeith Road, died from chest and pelvic injuries. 

A statement read out by his other son, also named Thomas, said they were a very close family and his father had been in good spirits before his death having won £88 on a bet on the Saturday. 

He also told the court that his father had been food shopping on the Sunday, the day before the incident.

He said his parents had always looked after their disabled son, who could only be left at home for very short periods and could not safely go out on his own. 

He said: ‘He was such a proud man, he would never complain or ask for help. He would just get on and do things for himself. He kept the house lovely and clean.’

Emergency crews, including the Great North Air Ambulance, were called to Hartlepool’s Catcote Road following the rush-hour collision on March 21 this year at around 8.10am

He went on to say that his father, who had four children, was a great father and his family all loved him very much. 

He said his father always knew as a family they would take care of the disabled son, ‘but it wasn’t something we talked about, we are all so close, we would do it automatically.’

He said his father was fit for his age and added he ‘can’t imagine my dad wanting to harm himself or bring any harm to’ his son.

A statement from the bus driver, Paul Johnson, said it was a bright and clear day and nothing was distracting him. 

He said he was slowing down anyway to overtake a parked car and was coming to an island in the road. 

He said he was aware of the two men and then they just stepped out into the road in front of the bus. 

He said he slammed his brakes on, but there was nothing he could do to avoid hitting them.

Coroner Clare Bailey said the CCTV showed it was a deliberate act by Mr Daley to take himself and his son into the path of the on-coming bus. 

She said: ‘It was a deliberate attempt not only to take his own life, but that of his son.’ She recorded a verdict of suicide.

For help, you can call Samaritans for free on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org.

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