Judge-led inquests

Under Schedule 10 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, if requested by the Chief Coroner, the Lord Chief Justice, in consultation with the Lord Chancellor, may nominate a Judge to conduct an inquest.  The Chief Coroner will make such a request for a variety of reasons, including if the case is particularly sensitive, or contains sensitive material, or is of particular national or public importance.

 

Alexander Perepilichnyy

Mr Perepilichnyy, a Russian national living in Britain, collapsed and died in 2012.  The cause of death is unascertained but it has been alleged that he might have been murdered by agents of the Russian state.    Due to the high profile nature and sensitivity of the case, the Recorder of London, HHJ Nicholas Hilliard QC, was nominated to conduct the inquest.  The inquest was opened in June 2017 at the Central Criminal Court.

Transcripts of the inquest

 

Ellie Butler

Ellie Butler, who was 6 years old, was killed by her father in 2013.  He was subsequently convicted of murder and child cruelty and was jailed with a minimum term of 23 years.  Due to the complexity and public interest in the case, a retired High Court Judge, Dame Linda Dobbs, was nominated to conduct the inquest, sitting at South London Coroner’s Court. The inquest examined whether there were failures on the part of the authorities with regard to Ellie’s murder, including the sharing of information, co-operation and communication between organisations.  On 10th April 2018, the inquest determined that Ellie was unlawfully killed.

 

Private Sean Benton (Deepcut 2)

Pte Benton died aged 20 in 1995 at the Deepcut Barracks.  He was found with five gunshot wounds to his chest.  The original inquest in 1995 found that Pte Benton had committed suicide.  In 2016 a new inquest was ordered by the High Court.  HHJ Peter Rook QC, a Circuit Judge, was nominated to conduct the inquest.  The inquest is currently taking place at Woking Coroner’s Court.

 

Private Geoff Gray (Deepcut 3)

Pte Gray died aged 17 in 2001 at the Deepcut Barracks.  He was found with two gunshot wounds to his head.  The original inquest in 2002 delivered an open verdict.  In 2017 the High Court ordered that a fresh inquest be held.  HH Peter Rook QC has been appointed Assistant Coroner in Surrey to enable him to hear the inquest, which is likely to start in early 2019.

 

Inquests into the deaths arising from the Westminster terror attack of 22nd March 2017

The Chief Coroner, HHJ Mark Lucraft QC, is responsible for holding the inquests into the deaths of the four individuals killed on Westminster Bridge; the Police Officer killed within the Palace of Westminster; and the attacker.  The inquests will take place at the Central Criminal Court starting on 10th September 2018.

A dedicated website has been set up for the inquests: https://westminsterbridgeinquests.independent.gov.uk/ which contains information about the inquests, previous hearings including links to the agenda and directions of those hearings, and will be regularly updated with details of upcoming hearings.

All enquiries should be made to Siân Jones, Solicitor to the Inquests at SianJones@bdb-law.co.uk or on 020 7783 3587.

 

Inquests into the deaths arising from the London Bridge and Borough Market terror attack of 3rd June 2017

The Chief Coroner, HHJ Mark Lucraft QC, is responsible for holding the inquests into the deaths of the eight individuals killed on London Bridge and Borough Market; and the three attackers.  The inquests will take place at the Central Criminal Court starting in 2019.

A dedicated website has been set up for the inquests: https://londonbridgeinquests.independent.gov.uk/ which contains information about the inquests, previous hearings including links to the agenda and directions of those hearings, and will be regularly updated with details of upcoming hearings.

All enquiries should be made to Siân Jones, Solicitor to the Inquests at SianJones@bdb-law.co.uk or on 020 7783 3587.