Kettering man died five months after vicious shooting

The inquest took place at County Hall in Northampton.
The inquest took place at County Hall in Northampton.

A man who lost a leg after being shot in Kettering died five months later from fatal drug use.

Paul Panther, 36, was forced to have his left limb amputated after being shot with his back turned in Field Street in October last year.

An inquest in Northampton yesterday (Thursday) heard the emergency services were called to his mother’s house in Bayes Street in the early hours of March 4.

Mr Panther, who had a young son, was found with “no signs of life” after his mother heard a loud thud just after 4.40am.

A paramedic was told that it was possible that he had injected or inhaled heroin.

In a statement read out by the coroner, Paramedic Sears said: “Despite 20 minutes of life support Mr Panther showed no change or improvement.”

He was given CPR but died just before 5.20am, just three weeks before his 37th birthday.

A toxicology evaluation carried out by Dr Mike Biggs, a forensic pathologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary, revealed evidence of heroin and cocaine use.

It was classed as potentially fatal and Dr Biggs said this was the most likely reason for his death.

The inquest heard that he had a history of drug use in a statement from his doctor at Weavers Medical Centre.

Senior coroner for Northamptonshire Anne Pember recorded a verdict of accidental death.

She said: “Sadly the cause of his death was the effect of heroin and cocaine.

“I believe his death was accidental and drug related.

“I am sorry for your loss.”

Six people were jailed for a total of 33 years earlier this month for their involvement in the shooting.

Spencer Carr, 39, was jailed for 14 years for GBH with intent and five years for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, to run concurrently.

Michael Villiers, 46, and Darren Freeman, 36, were also found guilty of GBH, and were sentenced to two years and three years respectively.

Freeman will also serve a one year sentence for possession of a firearm, to run consecutively.

Lorna Carr, 30, and Kelly Davies, 40, were found guilty of assisting an offender.

Davies was given a five year custodial sentence and Carr was jailed for two years.

Robert Pearce, 61, from Kettering, was jailed for 12 months after he previously pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm.