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Maidstone: Convicted killer Kenneth Harman dies from throat cancer

A man who was jailed for stabbing his partner to death during a drunken row died following a battle with throat cancer, an inquest heard.

Convicted killer Kenneth Harman was rushed to Medway Maritime Hospital in June 2017 after complaining of abdomen pain and vomiting blood.

The 63-year-old prisoner was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer just one month prior to his death and it had spread to his liver and lymph nodes.

Convicted killer Kenneth Harman
Convicted killer Kenneth Harman

During an inquest heard at Archbishops Palace, Maidstone, Assistant Coroner Georgina Gibbs heard Harman had become unwell during his time at Elmley Prison on the Isle of Sheppey.

Harman, formerly of Hayle Road, was given a prison sentence of four and a half years after being convicted of an ex-partner’s manslaughter in Tonbridge 10 years ago.

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court found Harman to be guilty of stabbing 61-year-old Michael Castle in the chest while on a boat in February 2008.

In February 2017 Harman complained of a burning sensation in his throat when he ate and that he had difficulty in swallowing food.

Mrs Gibbs concluded that Harman, who also had emphysema, had died of natural causes following his death on June 30.

She said: “Kenneth Harman had a known diagnosis of oesophageal cancer for which a stent had been inserted on June 21.

“He was treated in hospital for sepsis and he sadly began to deteriorate on June 30. A decision was made to treat him in palliative care.

“Mr Harman agreed he would not wish to be resuscitated and he wanted a surge driver to manage the pain. He passed away at 10.57pm.”

During a prison investigation into Harman’s treatment, reports found he had missed a vital appointment on April 20 due to the wrong transport being booked.

He was unable to attend a hospital appointment because the prison had not booked a vehicle with enough space to transport a patient with a wheelchair.

While Mrs Gibbs said missing the appointment would not have made any difference to the outcome of Harman’s illness she pointed out that the prison has since improved its arrangements for transport.

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