A MAN who choked to death on a train had suffered three previous choking episodes, a court has heard.

David Clark, 56, died after a piece of chicken the size of a golf ball became lodged in his throat on March 2 2018.

But Preston Crown Court heard that, just weeks before the incident on the train heading towards Barrow, Mr Clark had turned blue and struggled to breath at the Uplands Hotel in Cartmel.

David Noble, 32, was at the pub when Mr Clark started choking.

It was ‘the talk of the pub’ with other customers fearing he had swallowed his tongue, the court heard.

On March 2, Mr Clark boarded the 9.04pm train at Lancaster following the Lancaster FC v Farsley Celtic match.

His friend Jon Waite boarded the train with him, and the pair joined Noble and his sister Nicole Cavin at a table.

Mr Waite said he had consumed around 15 pints of lager with Mr Clark, known as ‘Titch’, having a few less.

Noble and Mr Clark were ‘good friends’ and Noble offered Mr Clark some of his kebab.

Mr Clark collapsed in the aisle as Cavin tried to save his life.

But the court heard Mr Clark had previously suffered an alarming choking episode in which he turned blue and gasped for breath at the Uplands Hotel in Cartmel.

Noble, known as ‘Nobby’ to his friends, was present at the pub when Mr Clark choked, a few weeks earlier.

The incident was ‘the talk of the pub’ with other drinkers fearing he had swallowed his tongue.

When police and paramedics arrived at Silverdale station, Noble told them about the incident a few weeks earlier at the Uplands Inn.

Richard Littler QC, defending, said: “Why would a close buddy, knowing he has choking and breathing difficulties, near-death experiences, swallowing his tongue days before – why would Mr Noble do anything to risk him choking again on that train?

“If Mr Noble knew about that previous choking incident – which clearly he did because he told them at the scene – he wouldn’t have put food in his friend’s mouth if he had been awake or asleep. It would have been the last thing he would do.”

He also asked the jury to consider why Noble would have alerted the emergency services to Mr Clark’s vulnerability if he was criminally responsible.

The jury must consider whether Mr Clark was asleep, or believed to be asleep, when food was placed in his mouth.

Mr Littler QC said: “There is a very fine line between a generous act of feeding a friend who is awake and the criminal act of feeding the same food to the same friend who is asleep.”

Noble and his sister Nicole Cavin, 22, of Market Street, Grange, deny manslaughter.