Covid vaccine refuser died after terrible mistake, says partner

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Media caption,

Amanda Mitchell said her partner Leslie Lawrenson died unnecessarily

A man who died with Covid after refusing to be vaccinated made a "terrible mistake" which put his family at risk, his partner has said.

Leslie Lawrenson, 58, died at his home in Bournemouth, Dorset, on 2 July.

His partner Amanda Mitchell, 56, who was seriously ill with Covid at the same time, said he thought the vaccines were too "experimental".

She told the Stephen Nolan programme on BBC Radio 5 live: "I feel incredibly foolish. Les died unnecessarily."

Image source, Leslie Lawrenson
Image caption,
Mr Lawrenson was a guitarist in a local band

Ms Mitchell said her partner, a Cambridge University graduate, decided against having a coronavirus jab after reading material on social media.

She said: "It was a daily thing that he said to us: 'You don't need to have it, you'll be fine, just be careful.'

"He said to me: 'It's a gene thing, an experimental thing. You're putting something in your body that hasn't been thoroughly tested.'

"Les was highly educated... so if he told me something, I tended to believe it."

Image source, Carla Hodges
Image caption,
Ms Mitchell said avoiding a Covid jab put her sons Taylor, 19, and Blake, 11, at risk

Ms Mitchell, who has diabetes and hypertension, said her partner appeared to be recovering from Covid-related pneumonia while she became seriously ill.

She said paramedics who attended her at home on 2 July were called back 10 minutes later when her 19-year-old son found Mr Lawrenson dead in bed.

She said: "Les made a terrible mistake and he's paid the ultimate price for that."

Ms Mitchell was admitted to hospital the same day and spent a week on a Covid ward.

She said she felt foolish for putting her daughter and older son at risk when they came to help to care for the couple's 11-year-old son.

Daughter Carla Hodges, 35, said: "[Leslie] was so brainwashed by the stuff that he was seeing on YouTube and social media.

"He said: 'A lot of people will die more from having the vaccine than getting Covid.'"

Ms Mitchell said she would be having the vaccine as soon as doctors declared her fit enough.