'Wife didn't deserve to die' says manslaughter accused

A haulage boss who crushed his jealous wife to death under the wheels of his 26-ton truck following a drunken, violent row told a court today: "She didn't deserve to die."

Graeme Lamb's voice choked with emotion as he told a jury Josephine Lamb's death "should never have happened".



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



Newcastle Crown Court heard his wife, known as Jo, had a jealous streak, was prone to destructive outbursts and frequently lashed out when she believed he was in contact with other women.



She regularly checked his mobile, made him sack a female employee and smashed up their caravan home at the stables, livery yard and haulage business he ran in Wardley, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.



In July last year, after the couple had been drinking, she flew into another jealous rage and, during a row, grabbed him on the site of his recent appendix operation, the court heard.



He got in his Scania flat-bed lorry in a bid to stop it being smashed, he told the jury.



She tried to stop him leaving and opened the cab door to grab the keys, but he pushed her out.



She had already shut the yard gates he had opened to stop him leaving.



Lamb told the court he rolled the lorry up to the gates, and did not see his wife, and pushed them open by slowly increasing the pressure on them with the cab.



The court heard she was run over by the lorry and went under its wheels.



He felt a bump, he said, and at first believed he had hit the couple's dog.



It was only when he stopped to get out that he realised what had happened, he said.



He immediately rang 999, telling the operator Mrs Lamb, 58, had jumped in front of his lorry.



He told the jury he said that because that was the only logical explanation for how she ended up under the wheels.



Jamie Hill QC, defending, asked how he felt when he saw his wife's crushed body.



With his head bowed, Lamb replied: "You can see my feelings now."



Asked to put into words how he now felt about his wife's death, he replied: "It should never have happened.



"She didn't deserve to die."



The jury heard that during one fit of jealousy, Mrs Lamb filled the bath in their caravan with food and family mementoes.



He said: "She emptied all the cereal, soup, all the food in the cupboards, anything possible, family photos, into the bath."



On another occasion his clothes were snipped in two, paintings were smashed and windscreens broken, he said.



The couple, who got together while both previously married, had been happy, but the relationship was failing, he said.



While he denied having any affairs, he could see why she was jealous.



"I understood her insecurity," he told the jury. "She was the other woman in the first marriage, she was 10 years older than me. I kind of understood where she was coming from," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Sport
John Terry puts Chelsea ahead
football
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David performs in his play ‘Fish in the Dark'
theatreFish in the Dark has already generated a record $14.5m in advance ticket sales
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Howard Mollison, as played by Michael Gambon
tvReview: Too often The Casual Vacancy resembled a jumble of deleted scenes from Hot Fuzz
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
news
Arts and Entertainment
Jemima West in Channel 4's Indian Summers (Joss Barratt/Channel 4)
tvReview: More questions and plot twists keep viewers guessing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003