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Cancer sufferer accidentally crushed wife to death at their Surbiton home
7:50am Friday 29th June 2012 in News
An elderly cancer sufferer accidentally crushed his wife to death when he ran over her trying to park his car.
Grief-stricken Malcolm Gittins’ car ran over his Swedish-born wife Vivien when his car slipped into reverse as she tried to guide it into the garage on the evening of Friday, June 15.
She was taken to St George’s Hospital but died two days later.
The couple, who had been married for 41 years, had been out for a meal before settling down to watch the England v Sweden Euro 2012 match at their home on Portsmouth Road, Surbiton.
Mrs Gittins got out to guide their automatic Peugeot into their garage and as she stood behind the vehicle, her husband tried to put it into park mode.
But the car slipped into reverse, bounced off the garage wall and crushed the 75-year-old beneath it.
Now the 80-year-old former insurance broker could face a possible manslaughter charge.
His lawyer Alex Tribick said: "This is a terrible tragedy for a man who is already suffering from serious stomach cancer.
"He is deeply shaken by what happened. They were a devoted couple who had been together for almost half a century.
"To make his grief even harder to bear is the knowledge that he might face a serious charge."
Mr Gittins made his own approach to death as painless as possible for his wife by tidying his affairs and even planning his own funeral.
After the accident he was taken to the police station to be interviewed under caution, but was released without charge while police from the road death investigation unit (RDIU) looked into the horrific incident.
Mr Tribick said the police had been sympathetic and there was no suggestion alcohol had played any part in the accident.
Mr Tribick said: “It would be a sad day for British justice if this grief-stricken man were to fall foul of the law like this in the closing days of his life.”
Witnesses to the incident should call the RDUI on 020 8941 9011.