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Tag Archive: IPCC

High Court quashes inquest conclusions of Stephen Port murder victims

Stephen Port Murder Victims


Lawyers will now apply for all four victims’ inquests to be held together

The High Court has today quashed the original inquest conclusions into the deaths of two of Stephen Port’s murder victims.

An application by the Senior Coroner for East London, Ms Nadia Persaud, asked the High Court to quash her original conclusions into the deaths of 22-year-old, Gabriel Kovari and 21-year-old, Daniel Whitworth. This followed a request from the families’ lawyers citing the wealth of new information available for her to consider, following Port’s sentencing in November last year.

In June 2015 at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court, Ms Persaud recorded an open conclusion into the deaths of Gabriel and Daniel. However, these conclusions were reached before the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) had made the link between the death of Anthony Walgate a year previous, Gabriel and Daniel’s deaths and, before Port’s fourth known murder victim, Jack Taylor was killed in September 2015.

Inquests into the deaths of Anthony Walgate and Jack Taylor have yet to take place and the families’ lawyers will now ask for all four victims’ inquests to be held together, once the IPCC investigation into the Metropolitan Police Service’s initial response to the four deaths is complete. In total, the actions of 17 officers are under investigation.  The IPCC is expected to complete its report in early 2018.

Civil liberties and police action specialist Andrew Petherbridge of Hudgell Solicitors is representing the four families and says: “This is another important step in the families’ fight for justice. We’re very grateful to the coroner for her intervention. Holding all four inquests together for Gabriel, Daniel, Anthony and Jack, will help identify if institutional failings and discrimination within the Metropolitan Police Service played any roles in their deaths.”

Mandy Pearson, step-mother of Daniel Whitworth, says: “This is an important start to getting some of the many wrongs concerning Daniel’s death corrected. The very least we can do for Daniel is to get the facts about his death recorded correctly and, with a new inquest we are hopeful we can do that for him and for Gabriel, Anthony and Jack.”

The Metropolitan Police Service were aware of the application but did not make any objection.

Related News:

Daily Mail 

Kent online 

BBC 

Hull Daily Mail 

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28/11/2017 No Comments

Findings of investigation into shooting of Hull man Lewis Skelton expected before end of year

Lewis Skelton | Findings of investigation into shooting of Hull man Lewis Skelton expected before end of year


The findings of an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into the shooting of a man by police in Hull last year are expected before the end of the year.

Lewis Skelton, 31, died after ‘two live rounds’ were shot at him in Francis Street, Hull city centre, at 9.30am on November 29 last year.

His death resulted in the IPCC case being launched, and his family instructed civil liberties specialists Hudgell Solicitors to act on their behalf.

Now, lawyer Andrew Petherbridge says the findings of the investigation are expected before the end of the year.

“We have been kept up-to-date with the progress of the ongoing investigation by the IPCC and we thank them for that,” said Mr Petherbridge.

“It is our understanding that all relevant officers who were called to the scene on this tragic day have now been interviewed and given their accounts of what they say happened and why, as has the commander from the operations room.

“That is certainly welcome news as it hopefully means that Lewis’ family are closer to getting answers as to what happened on that day.

“Lewis’ family accept and understand that the events of that day last year cannot be changed

“We are hoping that, as part of the IPCC investigation, all relevant questions have been asked of Humberside Police with regard to their actions that morning, and whether there could have been another outcome to this matter which did not result in the loss of life.”

Family want ‘every avenue explored’ as part of investigation

It is alleged that Mr Skelton had been carrying an axe when police were alerted by members of the public. A post mortem examination showed he died from gunshot wounds.

His family informed investigators that he suffered from a mental health condition, and the IPCC recovered the weapons used on the morning, as well as searching Mr Skelton’s flat on Durham Street, as part of their investigation.

Mr Skelton’s sister Laura said: “It has been such a long and difficult time since we lost Lewis last year. Not only was his sudden death a massive shock to us all, but the nature of it has been so hard to accept and understand.

“It is vital to us that we feel every avenue is explored getting to the bottom of what actually happened that day.”

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18/08/2017 No Comments

Hudgell Solicitors welcomes swift IPCC response in case of police search which ended with baby’s ashes spilled across floor

Memory teddy


Lawyers acting on behalf of a young mother who says police officers tore apart her ‘memory teddy bear’ containing the remains of her 10-month-old son have welcomed a swift investigation into the matter.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has today issued a statement in which it says officers in this incident, which happened in June, have already given their accounts of the events and that video footage from body cameras is also being studied.

The IPCC has said it is “looking at the actions of officers and whether there is any organisational learning arising.”

Ms Wright, 23, said she had been left “hysterical” on her hands and knees trying to recover the precious remains of her baby boy Nathan after officers from Staffordshire Police Force left her partner’s property.

She had been at his flat at the time, and despite officers having a warrant relating to a stolen laptop, Ms Wright says she and her partner were not suspected of committing any offence themselves, and that she informed officers before they carried out the search that the teddy contained her son’s ashes.

When officers left empty-handed, Ms Wright went into the bedroom and was “completely heartbroken” by what she found.

IPCC Operations Manager Steve Bimson said: “We have met with Ms Wright and her partner to explain our role and we will keep all parties regularly updated on our investigation.

“This is an emotive case and we are conscious of the distress and wider concern this has caused. We will be looking at the actions of officers and whether there is any organisational learning arising from this incident.”

Civil Liberties Lawyer Andrew Petherbridge is representing Ms Wright, and says the IPCC response has rightly been quick.

“Given the harrowing circumstances for our client, we welcome the swift IPCC response in this case,” he said.

“We feel there are many serious questions which need asking around the events of this search, and welcome the reviewing of video footage from body cameras worn at the time.

“Whatever happened during the search, there can be no doubt that finding her son’s ashes scattered on the bedroom floor afterwards must have been a horrifying experience for our client.  This should never have been the outcome given the search was in relation to a stolen laptop.”

Ms Wright and her boyfriend James have lived with the trauma of losing Nathan, aged 10 months, in April 2014. Despite being born prematurely at 34 weeks, he was a ‘happy and healthy’ boy until his sudden death.

Chelsea says she has carried the memory bear and Nathan’s ashes with her everywhere since, to feel close to him.

Of the police search, she said: “I’d been staying with James at his flat when the police arrived to search his property at about 7.45am. We had nothing to hide so of course, we let them in. James wasn’t even under any suspicion as it was all in relation to somebody else.

“I even mentioned the teddy bear to the police before they started searching, but the Velcro on the teddy bear’s back had been opened and the bag had been cut open. How on earth could they have expected to find a laptop inside a small plastic bag which was inside a teddy bear? It is absolutely disgusting.

“I can’t understand how the police can be so heartless and so inconsiderate. As soon as I went into the bedroom and saw the mess I knew it was Nathan’s ashes spread around the room.

“I was just in hysterics. I got onto my hands and knees and tried to salvage the ashes and brush them onto pieces of paper, but it was impossible. How on earth could they do this to a mum who has lost a baby boy?”

Related News 

The Mirror 

Guardian

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08/08/2017 No Comments

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