Louis Browne QC represents family of Catherine Jones at pre-inquest review hearing

November 24, 2020

Louis Browne QC from Exchange Chambers, instructed by Richard Jones of Mackenzie Jones Solicitors, represented the family of Catherine Jones at a pre-inquest review hearing on Friday.

Catherine Lisa Jones, from Hawarden in Flintshire, died in 2016 after wrongly being told a cyst on her ovary was not cancerous, the pre-inquest was told.

The initial pre-inquest hearing was held in February 2018, with the second in April last year, but the coroner adjourned them both as he felt further lines of inquiry were necessary.

Coroner John Gittins said Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) had made “a full and frank acceptance” that a mistake was made.

Mr Gittins is due to hold a full inquest into Mrs Jones death next year and said he would be seeking reassurances from BCUHB that ‘investigations and processes had taken place subsequently to make sure there is no similar cases and the risk of recurrence has diminished.’

Arguing that the coroner should examine the full circumstances leading up to Mrs Jones’ 2013 surgery, Louis Browne, QC, representing her family, said: “Something seriously went wrong and acknowledging what went wrong is only part of the picture. The evidence appears to show that there was no system in place at the Board at the time for follow up in cases like Catherine’s and, in our submission, the public are entitled to know about that and potentially if there are failings that need to be brought to light and lessons learned. Your inquiry is the only means by which that will be done.”

Mr Browne pointed out that the hospital maintained that the 2013 biopsy slides had been reviewed twice since Mrs Jones’ death and both times they insisted there was ‘no malignancy.’ However, a review by expert witnesses had revealed otherwise.

Mr Browne told the coroner: “If there had been an investigation that was slipshod it is right that that is investigated by you and lessons are learned from it.”

The Inquest will be heard in 2021.