A Manchester, England, woman died after her husband accidentally crushed her in an attempt to stop her self-harming, ruled a coroner.
The coroner ruled on the death following an inquest. At the inquest, it was determined that Steve Wolstenholme found his wife, Carol, cutting her arm in their kitchen following an argument in February, according to the Manchester Evening News.
The 59-year-old tried to stop her, he told the court, but he “tripped her up and pushed her,” and fell on top of her.
As he held her back, Steve called emergency services to have them come check on his wife; however, as they continued to struggle, Steve noticed that Carol was no longer breathing. He slapped her to try and make her come to, but she never woke up.
When paramedics arrived, they found the 50-year-old woman with cuts to her arms and fought to resuscitate her, but it was too late. They pronounced Carol dead at the scene a short time later.
Officers arrested Steve, who neighbors described as “shell-shocked,” on suspicion of murder.
After Steve’s version of events perfectly matched the evidence, officials dropped all charges and released him, according to the Irish Mirror.
Pathologist Charles Wilson found that Carol died not from her minor self-inflicted wounds but from “postural asphyxia” as a result of being pinned down by a large person in a confined space. Combined with her obesity, breathing would have been almost impossible.
She also fractured several ribs towards the back and side of her ribcage, which further supported the pathologist's claim, according to Dr. Wilson.
Coroners ruled it an accidental death.
“They were a loving couple who did everything together -- I’m saddened for both of them,” said neighbor Gail Reid, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Carol, a National Health Service worker, had been fighting cancer and was on long-term sick leave. Weeks before she died, Carol deliberately crashed her husband’s car during an overdose, according to court testimony.
“Carol was a wonderful lady, a loving daughter and sister who will be sadly missed by everyone,” Carol’s sister, Susan Owen-Naz, said.
“It goes to show how precious and fragile life is," she added.