Richard has represented families and interested persons at Inquests pre and post the Coroner’s and Justice Act 2009, Coroner (Inquests) Rules 2013 and Coroner’s Investigations Regulations 2013. He has conducted both Article 2 and traditional inquests and has vast experience of inquests with or without jurors.
His previous involvement in medical/professional negligence, his experience representing professional clients for misconduct before their professional bodies and his ability as an outstanding advocate have resulted in inquests being an ideal venue for him.
Illustrative cases include:
Richard represented the interests of a nurse at an inquest alleged to have been responsible for the death of a new born baby. The case attracted national media attention. It was alleged that the death was a direct consequence of the treatment administered by the nurse. Complex issues of neglect, causation and expert evidence. The conclusion reached was natural causes.
Richard was involved in a long inquest in 2014 at Wakefield Coroner’s Court touching into the death of a baby in 2009 at Leeds Royal Infirmary. There were a number of medical interested persons. Richard represented the most senior Intensive Care Consultant who was criticised for deciding not to admit the baby into Intensive Care (PICU) sooner. There had been a catalogue of errors made by junior medics and Registrars and all were attempting to attribute blame elsewhere. Richard challenged the quality of the investigation by the Trust and exposed the fact that in 2009 fatalities in PICU were higher, the numbers of doctors and nurses were lower, there was no bed space in PICU in 2009 and medical personnel were regularly being forced to breach hospital policy and procedure to treat patients effectively. The Coroner found there had been neglect and that was inevitable but importantly the neglect was systemic within the hospital with a lack of resources being a huge contributing factor and importantly individual departments or doctors were not blamed. The case received National media attention and was raised in the House of Commons.