An inquest is held following a death. The duty of the Coroner in each area is to establish:
- Who died.
- When they died, and
- More broadly in what circumstances they died.
Out of the 180,000 or so deaths in England and Wales each year, Inquests are held in approximately 13% of cases (that means there are over 23,000 Inquests held each year).
The inquest system, for those who are not familiar with it, can be daunting and often impenetrable. Whilst an inquest is “inquisitorial and not adversarial and the Coroner’s rules forbid blame being attributed for a death to any particular person”, there is little doubt that where a death has arisen in circumstances which are not straight forward as a result of accident or some other inadvertent event (where for instance, Police officers may have been involved in a fatal “traffic accident,”) representatives at the Inquest may be of extremely important to the family whose loved one has died.
Glyn Maddocks has developed a special expertise in dealing with Inquests over the last 25 years, in South Wales and more generally. Recently, he has represented families whose loved ones have died. These have included:
- The parents who lost their daughter tragically at Oakwood Theme Park in South Wales, when her safety harness failed to protect her whilst she was participating in a ride.
- The husband of a psychiatric patient who committed suicide when she was on a supervised visit to her own home.
- The widow of a soldier who was killed whilst involved in a military training exercise in Malawi. One of the soldiers who he was supervising inadvertently dropped a grenade during the course of the training manoeuvre.
- The family of a remand prisoner who died having taken an overdose in HMP Cardiff following a failure to observe him properly and adequately.
- The family of a young man who was found dead in a Police cell, after he had been arrested on a minor charge some hours earlier, having been left on his own for a long period of time without being observed or monitored.
- The family of a young man who received fatal injuries following a car chase with officers from South Wales Police.
- The family of a motor cyclist who was killed when his motorcycle collided with a Police vehicle on its way to an emergency call.
- The widow of a man who died as a result of a workplace accident when a dangerous tree fell upon him.
- The family of a young man who died whilst at a probation hostel in Swansea, having not been properly supervised and having not received appropriate medical attention.
Glyn Maddocks has developed an almost unprecedented knowledge and expertise in dealing with inquest cases and with the subsequent claims that follow from them where issues of civil liability are involved.
Many of the cases in which he has acted have involved clients who are eligible for Exceptional Funding from the Legal Services Commission. In certain inquests, Human Rights issues are engaged in general, where representatives of the State for instance the Police or Prison Service are involved and when the scope of its enquiry into the death of the person concerned is made wider.
Glyn will also consider dealing with matters on a no win no fee basis and is more than happy to discuss cases with clients without any obligation, the first interview being at all time free of charge.
Glyn has been a member of the highly respected charity, Inquest (www.inquest.org.uk) for many years receives referrals from Inquest on a regular basis. Like Inquest, Glyn has a commitment to tackling the issues surrounding deaths that result in an inquest and he is very happy to discuss cases on a preliminary basis with clients wherever they are located, and is happy to travel to see clients at their own home if that is more convenient for them.