Drunk football fan ‘choked to death after siblings force-fed him kebab’

Jimmy Nsubuga
·3 min read
General view of Deepdale stadium prior to kick-off Preston North End v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet Championship - Deepdale 18-01-2020 . (Photo by  Anthony Devlin/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images)
The trial is being held at a temporary court at Preston North End's Deepdale stadium. (Getty)

A drunk football fan choked to death after a brother and sister "force-fed" him a chicken kebab as he slept on a train, a court heard.

Paramedics removed meat the "size of a golf ball" from David Clark's airway when he collapsed on a train in Silverdale, Cumbria, on 2 March, 2019.

Further pieces of meat were cleared from the 52-year-old's throat at hospital but he died the next day, and a post-mortem examination found he had choked to death.

Siblings Nicole Cavin, 22, and David Noble, 32, are accused of his manslaughter.

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Northern train waiting at the station. (Photo by: Nigel Kirby/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
The incident happened on a Northern service train. (Getty)

Married father Mr Clark boarded the Northern service train with his friend Jon Waite and had enjoyed around ten pints throughout the day, a temporary Nightingale Court at Preston North End's Deepdale stadium heard.

He had been watching a football match between Lancaster FC and Farsley Celtic.

The trial heard that Cavin, Noble, who had known Mr Clark for about five years, and Cavin's boyfriend Daniel Shepherd had boarded the service earlier at Preston after going to Blackpool for the day.

The men sat with them and, when Mr Clark fell asleep, the siblings pushed food into his mouth despite Noble having previously witnessed him starting to choke in a pub, the court heard.

Police and paramedics were called to Silverdale railway station shortly before 9.30pm.

Prosecuting, Ian Unsworth QC said: "Both defendants are charged with manslaughter. 

"The prosecution do not say they intended to kill him or even that they intended to cause him really serious bodily harm.

"We say the force-feeding of Mr Clark in the manner which it happened, on any objective view, was an assault."

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The trial heard that Noble later told officers a similar thing had happened a month earlier, when Mr Clark had begun to choke in a pub.

According to Mr Clark's widow Susan, it was a problem that had existed for at least a year, the court heard.

Mr Unsworth added: "We say this is significant. Why? Because we say David Noble, set against that background, clearly knew [Mr Clark] had a problem with choking but notwithstanding that decided to force-feed him in any event."

Photographs of a piece of chicken retrieved from Mr Clark's throat were shown to jurors.

Pictures of the train and food debris, "selfies" with the kebab taken on the train and CCTV of the parties sitting in the carriage while it was in a station were also shown.

Both defendants were charged with manslaughter and have pleaded not guilty.

The trial continues.

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