Mystery surrounds Portsmouth nurse’s death as pathologist says he cannot rule out an assault

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A PATHOLOGIST told family members a range of scenarios could have caused the fatal injuries sustained by Jeanette Amey on holiday.

Dr Basil Purdue said four ribs were shattered, her spleen was ruptured and there was some damage to her pancreas. The medical cause of her death was haemorrhagic shock due to the rupture.

Jeanette Amey

Jeanette Amey

The details were read at the second hearing of an inquest at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court.

He said: ‘It’s clear that a single impact occurred to Jeanette’s left flank causing all the damage.’

He said the potential causes were a ‘blow from an assailant wielding a smooth blunt object or a kick’, a ‘headlong throw or push so as to stumble across’ and land on a piece of furniture or similar object.

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Dr Purdue said a ‘simple fall’ landing on a piece of furniture or ‘projected object’ could also cause it.

He added it was unlikely the injury was caused by a punch unless it was ‘heavy’ with a ‘gross disparity in size between the person doing the punch and the person receiving the punch’. He said: ‘I don’t think it’s possible.’

But he added: ‘It’s not possible to eliminate a deliberate injury by an assailant.

‘It would probably require the force of the magnitude of a kick.’

Both Dr Purdue and consultant surgeon Dr Ralph Antrum told the inquest it was not possible to tell if the spleen had ruptured straightaway or if there had been a delayed rupture.

Portsmouth Coroner’s Court heard medics treated Jeanette for gastroenteritis, only discovering the rupture when she requested the CT scan as she was ‘concerned’.

Dr Purdue added: ‘I think Jeanette died because they were simply too late in restoring her blood flow.’