Recent Blog Posts

Disapplying Section9 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981: a pre-action letter

May 10th, 2021

Last week I had to make the trip to Kent to attend the final pre-inquest review hearing into the death of Samuel Alban-Stanley. You can read more about Sammy here and you can read more about Kent County Council seeking to refuse permission to disclose an internal audit report into Sammy’s death in the write […]

‘The Chilling Effect of Disclosure’ at Kent County Council

May 5th, 2021

It’s been a long day today, I was up before dawn to travel to Kent for the third pre-inquest review hearing into the death of Samuel Alban-Stanley. Sammy was just 13 when he died last April, a few weeks into the first lockdown. You can read more about Sammy and what happened in this post […]

NHS non-apologies: the cases of Laura Booth and Richard Handley

April 30th, 2021

What a week. On Monday Assistant Coroner Abigail Combes delivered a blistering conclusion in Sheffield Coroner’s Court, into the death of Laura Jane Booth. Laura died in October 2016, but there was no inquest into the circumstances of Laura’s death. 18 months later an inquest was opened following the intervention of BBC Breakfast journalist Jayne […]

Family Statement Conclusion Laura Booth’s Inquest

April 26th, 2021

Laura was a much loved and longed for daughter who completed our family, when she died a part of us died with her. Laura loved people and people loved Laura. She communicated using Makaton, actions, gestures, a few words and considered use of blowing raspberries. Laura was very able to make decisions, and ensure her […]

Rachel Johnston PFD Hearing

March 26th, 2021

I was in court this morning for the resumption of Rachel Johnston’s inquest. It was part heard as one of the witnesses suffered a bereavement and it was agreed that it would be resumed to hear remaining evidence which spoke to the Coroner’s responsibility to issue a Prevention of Future Deaths report if he had […]

Transforming LEDER

March 25th, 2021

Earlier this week I received an email from someone who’s job title is ‘National Transformation Lead for LeDeR’. This was a bit of a surprise, imagine a programme that’s only 6yrs old requiring a ‘national transformation lead’. It’s such an NHS response to things. Invent a programme, poorly resource it, put in poor leadership at […]

The Life and Death of Matthew Copestick

February 21st, 2021

Last month the inquest into the death of Matthew Copestick concluded, two years to the day that he died, on 8 January 2019. I spoke with Matthew’s mum Helen and had the pleasure of reading the eulogy from his funeral. I wanted to share a little about Matthew with you before getting into his inquest. […]

Rachel Johnston Inquest Determination

February 11th, 2021

This afternoon, Senior Coroner for Worcestershire David Reid found that Rachel Johnston died as a result of complications of necessary surgery, to which neglect contributed. In the summing up of his evidence the Coroner said: Despite all the challenges which Rachel had to face she was a lively and happy woman who loved music, theatre […]