Mr Justice Dove, sitting at the Administrative Court in Leeds, has today granted permission for it to be argued that the investigative duty under Article 2 ECHR applies to all deaths in state custody, regardless of the circumstances, such that a Middleton-type inquest will be required. This follows a decision, taken in accordance with guidance issued by the Chief Coroner, that Article 2 did not apply in the deceased’s case because there was no arguable case that the substantive duty had been breached. The judge noted that in considering the issue the court will need have regard to the whether the involvement of the prisons and probation ombudsman (PPO) is sufficient to discharge the investigative duty. The case is likely to impact on a significant number of other cases where deaths in custody result from what are apparently natural causes.
The claimant is represented by Matt Stanbury of Garden Court North Chamber, instructed by Rhiannon Jones of Lester Morrill Solicitor. The family were represented at the Inquest by Gemma Vine of Lester Morrill Solicitor.