Tyne & Wear

Lorry crush wife 'should not have died'

Newcastle Crown Court
Image caption Graeme Lamb is appearing at Newcastle Crown Court

A Tyneside haulage boss who crushed his wife under the wheels of his lorry following a drunken row has said her death should not have happened.

Josephine Lamb, 58, died outside the couple's home at Quarry Park Stables in Wardley Lane, Gateshead, in July 2009.

Graeme Lamb told Newcastle Crown Court he had not known she was in front of his lorry when he tried to drive off.

The 48-year-old denies manslaughter and causing death by careless driving while over the drink-drive limit.

The court was told that Mrs Lamb had a jealous streak, and was prone to destructive outbursts.

Mr Lamb said that on one occasion she had "emptied all the cereal, soup, all the food in the cupboards, anything possible, family photos, into the bath."

On the evening of her death, the couple were drinking and fell out over a female former employee.

Felt a bump

Fearing she was about to damage his Scania flat-bed lorry, he told the court that he got into the cab and tried to drive out of the yard, but she had shut the gates.

He said he did not see his wife and pushed the gates open by slowly increasing the pressure on them with the cab.

When he felt a bump, he explained that he at first believed he had hit the couple's dog and it was only when he got out of the cab that he realised what had happened.

Jamie Hill QC, defending, asked him how he felt when he saw the body.

He bowed his head and said: "You can see my feelings now."

"It should never have happened. She didn't deserve to die."

The trial continues.

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