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December 7th 2020

Inquests

Families’ frustrations ‘totally understandable’ as Croydon tram crash inquest faces delay until May 2021

Families’ frustrations ‘totally understandable’ as Croydon tram crash inquest faces delay until May 2021

A solicitor representing the widow of a man killed in the Croydon tram crash four years ago says it is ‘totally understandable’ that families have become frustrated over delays which will mean an inquest may now not be held until next May.

A solicitor representing the widow of a man killed in the Croydon tram crash four years ago says it is ‘totally understandable’ that families have become frustrated over delays which will mean an inquest may now not be held until next May.

The 12-week inquest was initially due to begin in October, but concerns over increasing Covid-19 infections in the capital led to a postponement, which has now been extended well into 2021.

South London Coroner’s Service said the “sole reason” for the latest delay was to “enable families, jurors, witnesses, and advocates to attend and participate in these hearings in a safe and Covid-secure way”.

Family members of those killed have expressed their frustrations in the media, particularly as inquiries into the Grenfell Tower fire and Manchester Arena bombing, which both happened after the tram crash, have continued.

Solicitor Malcolm Johnson, of Hudgell Solicitors, will represent widow Marilyn Logan, whose 52-year-old husband Philip was killed in the crash, when the inquest eventually begins.

He said: “It has been a hugely frustrating process for the families of those killed in this tragedy as they for a long time had expected this inquest to begin in October, and then still before the end of the year after the initial delay.

“We are now looking at it being more than four-and-a-half years after the accident for the inquest to be started and evidence to be heard.

“This is a painfully long time for families not to have answers and it is entirely understandable that they have become frustrated, especially given other similar hearings have been able to take place and are currently doing so. It is also a long time to wait to hear from vital witnesses.

“We understand and appreciate that caution must be taken to protect all who have been involved given the battles we still face from Covid-19, but would certainly like to see every effort made to make it possible for the inquest to be staged as soon as possible into the New Year.”

Mr Logan was one of seven people killed in the crash at Sandilands junction on November 9, 2016. A further 61 people were injured, 19 seriously.

The other victims were Dane Chinnery, 19, Philip Seary, 57, Dorota Rynkiewicz, 35, and Robert Huxley, 63, all from New Addington, and Mark Smith, 35 and Donald Collett, 62, of Croydon.

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