Daughter questions whether Derbyshire man's death was an accident

The inquest was held at Chesterfield coroners' court.
The inquest was held at Chesterfield coroners' court.

The daughter of a much-loved Derbyshire equestrian has questioned whether his death was accidental.

Stephen Bamford, of Meadow View Stables, Newton Road, Tibshelf, died at that address on May 29 last year.

An inquest held this week was told the 60-year-old passed away following an incident involving a horsebox at the site - and a coroner ruled his death was accidental.

But Mr Bamford's daughter, Louise Medlock, told the inquest in a written statement: "I'm concerned this may not have been an accident."

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'Horrible scream'

Chesterfield coroners' court heard Mr Bamford and two other men - Peter Revill, his civil partner, and Paul Spencer, his friend - were working at the stable yard on the morning of the tragedy.

Giving evidence at the inquest, Mr Revill said he went to get some chewing gum from the house at the site when he heard a 'horrible scream' and saw a horsebox going through a fence and travelling through the field.

Mr Revill - who said he and Mr Bamford had had an argument the night before - added: "I ran to it, jumped in and managed to stall it.

"That's when I saw Stephen lying on the ground."

In his evidence to the court, Mr Spencer said he was on his phone when he turned a corner and saw Mr Bamford lying on the ground.

He added: "I ran towards him and put him in the recovery position - he said 'I'm dying'.

"Peter came running up screaming."

Emergency services were called and Mr Bamford was pronounced dead shortly before 10.45am.

Home Office pathologist Michael Biggs concluded that Mr Bamford died as a result of chest and abdominal injuries.

Coroner Emma Serrano said: "From the police evidence, it seems to me that Mr Bamford was stood near a fence post and the horsebox moved and its open door hit him, causing the injuries he sustained. The horsebox continued to move."

She added that police investigations concluded there were no defects with the horsebox and it was possible for the vehicle to move with its engine on and brake off.

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Daughter's concerns

The inquest heard Ms Medlock told police she believed Mr Revill 'intentionally drove the horsebox at her dad which caused his death'.

However, Ms Serrano said: "I’m satisfied that, on the balance of probabilities, Mr Bamford's death occurred as a result of an accident.

"Neither Mr Revill nor Mr Spencer was with Mr Bamford at the time the incident took place - they can't say what happened.

"At some point that morning, Mr Bamford was on his own.

"We don't know what Mr Bamford was doing in that period of time."

Ms Seranno noted there were 'some inconsistencies' in statements provided by Mr Revill and Mr Spencer but she also said there were 'some consistencies'.

As part of the investigation into Mr Bamford's death, police spoke to Mr Revill and Mr Spencer as witnesses.

No criminal charges were brought in the case.