Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2007] All ER (D) 71 (Jun)
Neutral Citation: [2007] EWHC 1354 (Admin)
Court: Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)

Keith J

Representation Stephen Simblet (instructed by Christian Khan) for the claimant.
  John Beggs (instructed by Shoosmiths) for the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, the interested party.
Judgment Dates: 8 June 2007


Coroner - Inquest - Directions to jury - Misdirection - Coroner deciding not to leave unlawful killing as possible verdict to jury - Standard of proof to be applied - Whether desirable in interests of justice to quash verdict.

The Case

Coroner Inquest. Where a coroner had failed to leave to the jury a verdict of unlawful killing follow the death of the deceased while being restrained by police officers, the way of giving effect to what was said in Strasbourg jurisprudence as to the standard of proof required was to treat the requirement on the authorities to provide a satisfactory and convincing explanation for the use of force as an evidential burden. Once an explanation for the use of force had been given, which was capable of being regarded by the jury as satisfactory and convincing, the jury had to be satisfied to the criminal standard that the circumstances in which the force was used meant that the deceased had been unlawfully killed. In the instant case, on the evidence, the coroner had erred in failing to leave a verdict of unlawful killing to the jury and, in so doing, the inquest had proved not to be an effective mechanism by which the United Kingdom's obligation under art2 of the European Convention on Human Rights was to be discharged.

Practice Areas

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