John acts for a wide variety of interested persons in inquests, including family members, but has particular experience representing police forces in both Article 2 and non-Article 2 inquests. He recently acted in a four day jury inquest, successfully persuading the Coroner not to leave neglect as a conclusion. The jury ultimately returned a short form conclusion that did not mention his client and no PFD report was issued.
He has also acted in cases involving suicide or sudden death following arrest or other police contact, and has assisted with substantial inquests following deaths in custody. He is also familiar with applications under s.13 of the Coroners Act 1988 for a fresh inquest, having worked on such an application and written about them for chambers’ Inquests & Inquiries Update.
In 2018, John was led by Francesca Whitelaw on the Sean Benton Inquest after working extensively with her on the Cheryl James Inquest in 2016. In both inquests, John and Francesca acted for individual soldiers and NCOs who had been made Interested Persons. Both inquests arose out of deaths of trainee soldiers following gunshot wounds at Deepcut Barracks in 1995 and were extensively covered in the media.