Man died after failing to seek help: coroner

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By Patrice Dogan of NZME news service.

A Nelson man who was found by three tourists in a pool of his own blood on New Year’s Eve died after kicking in a window and failing to seek help, a coroner has found.

Richard Stephen Woolmore, 36, had been out celebrating the New Year with friends in Nelson city centre in the hours before he was found around 3.50am on January 1 “in a state of collapse and bleeding profusely”, a piece of glass between his legs.

Mr Woolmore was described by friends as being “wasted” when they parted around 3 am.

Three tourists on work visas found Mr Woolmore in a pool of blood as they walked through the Countdown supermarket carpark towards Princes Dr.

They called an ambulance, and when they asked him what had happened, he said: “I’m sorry, I’m so drunk, I’m sorry”, and tried to stand up.

Ambulance officer Rachel Wylde described Mr Woolmore being able to point to the wound on his leg when asked what happened, and she also noticed a large piece of glass lying on the ground between his legs.

She later saw a broken window nearby, which had blood on the glass.

Mr Woolmore became aggressive as paramedics tried to put him in the ambulance, and officers had to restrain him.

While en route to the hospital, he started to ‘crash’. He died hours later.

Mr Woolmore’s injuries were consistent with being caused by shards of glass, which cut two of the three major arteries in his legs, causing “massive blood loss”.

Police found a large hole in one of the front windows of a business close to where Mr Woolmore was found, with blood on the ground.

A scene examination found a footprint in the blood which matched the shoes worn by Mr Woolmore, and a blood soaked footprint could also be tracked across the carpark.

Police later found shoeprints on a number of windows along the building and an adjacent office building, which matched the same shoe, suggesting Mr Woolmore had walked along the front of the building kicking a number of windows.

Coroner CJ Devonport ruled Mr Woolmore died as a result of severe shock from losing so much blood.

“After gashing his leg when he kicked the window in, Mr Woolmore did not use his cellphone to call for assistance, and the unwillingness to seek assistance and the resistance shown when ambulance officers assisted is likely as a result of his judgement being affected by a high level of alcohol and cannabis use.

He was survived by his partner Rose Christoforou and 2-month-old son.