Jury hears horrific details of Woodford Green lift death

PUBLISHED: 17:09 27 October 2010 | UPDATED: 17:22 27 October 2010

Crushed to death: Christine Allen

Crushed to death: Christine Allen


THE HORRIFYING moment a grandmother was crushed to death in a lift has been described during an inquest.

Christine Allen was leaving her daughter Laura Dawkin’s flat in Lambourne Court, Navestock Crescent, Woodford Green, when the lift malfunctioned.

Today, a hushed jury at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court listened as her former partner and flatmate Robert Russell spoke of the moment he watched Mrs Allen become wedged between the lift and the lift shaft on August 8 last year.

Mr Russell, 51, said: “The lift doors opened but the lift car wasn’t level with the floor. It was two or three inches above.

“Christine walked in and the lift, doors still open, started moving upwards slowly before it accelerated.

“I didn’t have a chance to get in before it started moving.

“I shouted ‘Chris, Chris’ and she tried to get out.

“I heard an almighty crash and when I looked up, she was trapped between the bottom of the lift and the ceiling.

“Her hands were dangling and I could see her hair but not her face.

“There was lots of blood.

“I screamed for help and felt for a pulse but there was nothing.

“I could see down the lift shaft and noticed some steel wiring which had frayed.”

The inquest also heard from Mrs Allen’s daughter, who lived on the eighth floor of Lambourne Court.

She said: “When I went round the corner, that’s when I saw what had happened.

“The lift doors were open and I saw my mum’s head. Her hands were dangling.”

She added: “The lift was not working properly leading up to the accident. Two weeks before I complained it was jolting when going up.”

After her mother’s death, Mrs Dawkins started a petition campaigning for the lifts on the Orchard Estate to be replaced.

The inquest result is expected to be announced shortly.

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