Widow of tragic footballer Jlloyd Samuel hits out at ‘relentless lies and outrageous conspiracy theories’ since he died in fireball car crash – which his sister says was FAKED
- Samuel’s sister, Leslie-Ann, 39, claimed brother’s wife faked his death in a crash
- But a coroner ruled dental evidence proved the body belonged to the footballer
- Refused to release the DNA, prompting Leslie-Ann to vow to continue legal fight
The widow of tragic footballer Jlloyd Samuel has hit out at the ‘relentless lies and outrageous conspiracy theories’ since he died in a car crash – which his sister believes was faked.
Coroner Alan Moore said dental records proved beyond doubt that the 37-year-old died on May 15 when his Range Rover collided with a van and that there was no evidence of foul play.
His ruling contradicted an extraordinary claim by Mr Samuel’s sister, Leslie-Ann, that her brother was still alive and his death had been faked by his interior designer wife, Emma.
The former defender’s white car had strayed on to the wrong side of the road before the crash, which happened after he had dropped his children off for school, the inquest into his death was told.
In a statement issued after the coroner had concluded that the footballer died in a road-traffic collision, his widow Emma Samuel said in a written statement: ‘For the past 18 months we have not only had to live with the tragic loss of my husband and the children’s father, but also endure relentless threats, vicious lies and outrageous conspiracy theories.
Samuel’s sister, Leslie-Ann, 39, was pictured outside Warrington Coroners’ Court holding a sign suggesting his family had been ‘denied DNA’. She has made the extraordinary claim that Samuel’s wife, Emma, (right) faked his death
‘I have maintained a dignified silence throughout all of this, out of respect for my husband and my children.
‘But the truth will eventually win through, and I will tell my story at the appropriate time.’
During the inquest Mr Samuel’s sister interrupted Mr Moore as he gave the ruling and told the court she had been denied the chance to privately test DNA taken from the body.
Mr Moore explained how the DNA samples belonged to the footballer’s next of kin, his wife Emma, who had said they would only be released if the sister could guarantee they are taken to a UK-registered laboratory.
The coroner told the sibling: ‘I cannot release any tissue to you for analysis – I cannot do that.
‘I can only do that with the permission of the next of kin. If that permission is withheld then that is something for another court.
‘If you still wish to carry out your own private testing, I understand that but please understand I cannot release the tissue.’
Leslie-Ann Samuel responded: ‘I will seek that order, and thank you for telling me that, Mr Alan Moore. I hope they keep the DNA samples until such case.’
Another Samuel family member arrives at the inquest today
The coroner had previously refused a family request for a private DNA test after explaining that a forensic specialist had already compared teeth from the body with Mr Samuel’s dental records and confirmed it was a match.
Dr John Sellar, a forensic odontologist, told the inquest that he was satisfied that teeth from the dead body matched a dental chart and radiographs taken from Mr Samuel’s mouth prior to the crash.
Describing how visual identification of the body was not possible as it had been ‘extensively burnt’, he said: ‘People who know the victim would not have wished to have seen those images.’
Meanwhile, forensic biologist Alexandra Clark said that a blood sample taken post-mortem matched that of cellular material taken from the footballer’s hairbrush and clippers.
She said that evaluation was done on the hairbrush to see whether the samples were a definite match to Mr Samuel and another person who had also used it, or whether the match to the former footballer was purely a coincidence.
But she said that the former was ‘a billion times more likely’, adding: ‘This is as clear as we can be.’
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Beauchamp said that in his investigation into the case he looked into the potential for foul play or kidnapping in the death – but said he found no evidence of either.
Inspector Liz Cunningham, from Cheshire Police, attended the crash on the day of Mr Samuel’s death, and said of the identification: ‘Because of the involvement of fire in this particular case, it was evident that complexity would be added in.’
She said that she was satisfied by the dental evidence given by Dr Sellar and from the accounts of passers-by that it was Mr Samuel.
Samuel, pictured with wife Emma (left), was 37 when he died in the Cheshire crash last year. The former footballer’s sister, Leslie-Ann (right), believes his death in May 2018 was ‘faked’
The witness added that the police concluded there were no suspicious circumstances behind the death, saying: ‘It was nothing more complicated than a collision.
‘It was a relatively straightforward collision involving two vehicles, one of which crosses on to the carriageway.’
Delivering his ruling, Mr Moore concluded that the body found in the car belonged to the footballer.
He said: ‘After careful consideration of the evidence, I find that in this case, and for the purposes of the inquest, the remains were those of Jlloyd Tafari Samuel.’
The inquest heard how the driver of the other vehicle, Frederick Dare, had tried his best to swerve out of the way of Mr Samuel’s car when the crash happened on West Lane, High Legh, Cheshire, on the morning of May 15 last year.
Samuel’s £100,000 Range Rover collided with a van as he returned from taking his kids to school in May last year
Samuel’s sister, Leslie-Ann, posted a letter from the coroners on her Instagram account
Holding back tears, he told the ex-Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers player’s family: ‘I’m just sorry.’
The incident happened a short distance behind cyclist Neil McCabe, who described the sound of the crash as ‘the loudest thing I have heard’.
He said that he approached Mr Samuel’s Range Rover, telling the court: ‘Looking in, I could see that it was practically black and I could see flames from where the driver’s lap would have been.’
Toxicologist Nicola Martin said that samples of the ex-player’s blood indicated that it was over the drink-drive limit – but added the caveat that the body can sometimes produce alcohol after death.
Dr Jonathan Medcalf, a pathologist, gave the cause of death as ‘head and neck injuries’.
He was asked by Leslie-Ann Samuel whether her brother’s right arm had been missing at the time of death, saying that it was not present when she saw the body.
Dr Medcalf responded: ‘Well, that was not how the body was left and we have the photographs to prove it.’
Despite suggestions the death may have been a result of smoke inhalation, it was concluded that head and neck injuries were the cause.
Passing on his condolences to Mr Samuel’s family, the coroner said: ‘I am so sorry that we had to meet in these circumstances.’
The former footballer’s sister believes that he is still alive and wasn’t in the car crash
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