'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
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
News
i100
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
news
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Extras
indybest
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick