Coroners take action on deaths in custody

29 September 2010 by

Coroners are making more recommendations about how to avoid deaths in custody, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Justice.

The latest statistics on “rule 43 reports”, where coroners make reports to prevent future deaths, show that deaths in custody account for 11% of reports made, up from just over 6% in the two previous reporting periods.

Since July 2008 coroners have had a wider power to make reports to prevent future deaths and a person who receives a report must send a response within 56 days.

The MoJ Report highlights a case reported by the Inner South London Coroner, where a man who had been arrested for breach of the peace died in a police station cell as a result of cocaine intoxication and the development of a variant of excited delirium/acute behavioural disorder.

Among the failures identified by the jury were a lack of police training and failures of communication between police officers and the doctor called.  The man lay on the cell floor in the prone position without moving for about twenty minutes before police and medical staff went into the cell, at which time he was found to be dead, despite an ambulance being called and waiting outside.

The rules are due to change again when provisions of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 comes into force (see our post).  The change will make a coroner’s report, and an official response to it, mandatory where in the coroner’s opinion action should be taken to prevent the occurrence or continuation of circumstances creating a risk of other deaths.

Recently the Court of Appeal considered that rule 43 had been breached where a coroner failed to address in his rule 43 report action (or inaction) taken after a prisoner was found hanging in his cell (though this was strictly obiter as the appeal was taken on narrower ground).  Lord Justice Sedley observed that

the want of equipment, training and effective procedure which the undisputed evidence revealed was so eloquent of action that needed to be taken to prevent similar fatalities that the coroner cannot have believed otherwise.

Almost a third of the reports issued by coroners between October 2009 and March 2010 related to hospital deaths, with the major issues being those of communication, procedures and protocols, and staff training.

Sign up to free human rights updates by email, Facebook, Twitter or RSS

Read more:

Welcome to the UKHRB


This blog is run by 1 Crown Office Row barristers' chambers. Subscribe for free updates here. The blog's editorial team is:
Commissioning Editor: Jonathan Metzer
Editorial Team: Rosalind English
Angus McCullough QC David Hart QC
Martin Downs
Jim Duffy

Free email updates


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog for free and receive weekly notifications of new posts by email.

Subscribe

Categories


Disclaimer


This blog is maintained for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a source of legal advice and must not be relied upon as such. Blog posts reflect the views and opinions of their individual authors, not of chambers as a whole.

Our privacy policy can be found on our ‘subscribe’ page or by clicking here.

Tags


Aarhus Abortion Abu Qatada Abuse Access to justice adoption ALBA Al Qaeda animal rights anonymity Article 1 Protocol 1 Article 2 article 3 Article 4 article 5 Article 6 Article 8 Article 9 article 10 Article 11 article 13 Article 14 Artificial Intelligence Asbestos assisted suicide asylum Australia autism benefits Bill of Rights biotechnology blogging Bloody Sunday brexit Bribery Catholicism Chagos Islanders Children children's rights China christianity citizenship civil liberties campaigners climate change clinical negligence Coercion common law confidentiality consent conservation constitution contempt of court Control orders Copyright coronavirus costs Court of Protection crime Cybersecurity Damages data protection death penalty defamation deportation deprivation of liberty Detention disability disclosure Discrimination disease divorce DNA domestic violence duty of care ECHR ECtHR Education election Employment Environment Equality Act Ethiopia EU EU Charter of Fundamental Rights EU costs EU law European Court of Justice evidence extradition extraordinary rendition Family Fertility FGM Finance foreign criminals foreign office France freedom of assembly Freedom of Expression freedom of information freedom of speech Gay marriage Gaza genetics Germany Google Grenfell Health HIV home office Housing HRLA human rights Human Rights Act human rights news Huntington's Disease immigration India Indonesia injunction Inquests international law internet Inuit Iran Iraq Ireland Islam Israel Italy IVF Japan Judaism judicial review jury trial JUSTICE Justice and Security Bill Law Pod UK legal aid Leveson Inquiry LGBTQ Rights liability Libel Liberty Libya Lithuania local authorities marriage mental capacity Mental Health military Ministry of Justice modern slavery music Muslim nationality national security NHS Northern Ireland nuclear challenges Obituary ouster clauses parental rights parliamentary expenses scandal patents Pensions Personal Injury Piracy Plagiarism planning Poland Police Politics pollution press Prisoners Prisons privacy Professional Discipline Property proportionality Protection of Freedoms Bill Protest Public/Private public access public authorities public inquiries rehabilitation Reith Lectures Religion RightsInfo right to die right to family life Right to Privacy right to swim riots Roma Romania Round Up Royals Russia Saudi Arabia Scotland secrecy secret justice sexual offence Sikhism Smoking social media South Africa Spain special advocates Sports Standing statelessness stop and search Strasbourg Supreme Court Supreme Court of Canada surrogacy surveillance Syria Tax technology Terrorism tort Torture travel treaty TTIP Turkey UK Ukraine USA US Supreme Court vicarious liability Wales War Crimes Wars Welfare Western Sahara Whistleblowing Wikileaks wind farms WomenInLaw YearInReview Zimbabwe
%d bloggers like this: