Suicide Inquest Verdict Overturned
On 10th October the High Court delivered judgment in an unusual appeal case where Kate Brunner of the Albion inquest team represented the family of the deceased.
In the case (Jenkins v HM coroner) a jury had returned a suicide verdict in relation to a young man who was killed by a train when sitting, apparently asleep, on the tracks. The coroner had not put evidence in front of the jury from the last people to see him alive, who said in subsequent statements that he was extremely drunk but in good humour.
The High Court agreed that the jury should have been given that important information, and that their conclusion was unsafe, and based on speculation. The appeal was brought under a little-used provision (s13 coroners act 1988) which allows the High Court to consider whether the interests of justice require a fresh inquest.