Dagenham heroin murder mother attends son’s inquest in handcuffs

A Dagenham mother jailed for life for murdering her son was allowed out of prison today to hear of the moment he leapt from an ambulance and suffered terrible head injuries that led to her killing him.

Frances Inglis, 58, sat handcuffed to a prison officer as she attended the inquest into the death of her son Tom, 22.

In January 2010 the mother was convicted by an Old Bailey jury of murdering her son by injecting him with a fatal overdose of heroin at a Hertfordshire hospital.

Fourteen months earlier, Tom had sustained a serious brain injury after falling from a moving ambulance in Dagenham as it took him to hospital following a pub fight.

At her trial Mrs Inglis, from Dagenham, had told the jury she had injected her son with the Class A drug because she wanted to free him from a “living hell” of permanent disability and round the clock care.


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Hertfordshire coroner Edward Thomas resumed the inquest into Tom’s death as he said the full facts of what happened in the ambulance taking him to hospital needed to be aired in public.

Paramedic Madeline Basford-Herd told the court how in the early hours of July 7 2007, she and her colleague Susan Basford-Herd arrived in an ambulance outside The Fiddler’s pub in Dagenham.

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She was told Tom had been punched to the ground. “I explained to Tom he needed to go to hospital, but he was reluctant to go.”

The Paramedic said that not long into the journey to Queen’s Hospital in Romford, he moved to sit next to the back doors and slightly opened it.

She said: “He then stood up and shouted ‘I am going to jump!’ He opened the door and I turned around to Susan and shouted ‘Stop the vehicle, he’s going to jump!’ As I turned around, he had gone out of the back door.”

The inquest continues.

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