Plymouth City Council v HM Coroner for the County of Devon and Another: Admn 27 May 2005

The local authority in whose care the deceased child had been held challenged a decision by the coroner not to limit his inquiry to the last few days of the child’s life. The coroner had decided that he had an obligation to conduct a wider enquiry under the 1968 Act.
Held: ‘The central question in the case is narrow, namely whether the child protection agencies, in particular Plymouth, arguably knew or ought to have known of a real and immediate risk to Perrin’s life. ‘ It was not whether a care order should have been sought. The coroner had looked to the wrong question, and the decision was quashed.


Wilson J


[2005] EWHC 1014 (Admin), [2005] 2 FCR 428




Human Rights Act 1998


England and Wales


CitedCalvelli and Ciglio v Italy ECHR 17-Jan-2002
The applicants’ baby had died shortly after birth in 1987. They complained about the medical care. The complaint was not investigated speedily by the authority, resulting in a criminal complaint becoming time barred after a conviction in 1994 was . .
CitedEdwards v The United Kingdom ECHR 14-Mar-2002
The deceased, a young man of mixed race, had been placed in a cell with another prisoner who was known to be violent, racist, and mentally unstable. The staff knew that the panic button was defective. The deceased was murdered by his cell-mate. His . .
CitedAmin, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Oct-2003
Prisoner’s death – need for full public enquiry
The deceased had been a young Asian prisoner. He was placed in a cell overnight with a prisoner known to be racist, extremely violent and mentally unstable. He was killed. The family sought an inquiry into the death.
Held: There had been a . .
CitedMiddleton, Regina (on the Application of) v Coroner for the Western District of Somerset HL 11-Mar-2004
The deceased had committed suicide in prison. His family felt that the risk should have been known to the prison authorities, and that they had failed to guard against that risk. The coroner had requested an explanatory note from the jury.
CitedKhan, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Health CA 10-Oct-2003
The claimant’s child had died as a result of negligence in hospital. The parents had been told the result of police investigation and decision not to prosecute, and the hospital’s own investigation, but had not been sufficiently involved. There . .
CitedHurst v Coroner Northern District of London Admn 4-Jul-2003
The deceased was killed by Mr Reid, a neighbour, who was convicted of his manslaughter.
Held: The court quashed the coroner’s refusal to accede to the application of the deceased’s father to resume an adjourned inquest into the death, at which . .
CitedE and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 26-Nov-2002
The four applicants had been abused by their stepfather, and sought investigation of the local authority for failing to protect them. They had been compensated by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in part, but now sought a remedy from the . .
CitedIn Re J (Minors) (Care: Care Plan) FD 1994
The judge had found that the threshold criteria in section 31 had been met, but the authority changed the care plan immediately before the final hearing. The guardian now appealed a final order, having proposed an interim order.
Held: Once the . .
CitedOsman v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-Oct-1998
Police’s Complete Immunity was Too Wide
(Grand Chamber) A male teacher developed an obsession with a male pupil. He changed his name by deed poll to the pupil’s surname. He was required to teach at another school. The pupil’s family’s property was subjected to numerous acts of vandalism, . .
CitedMastromatteo v Italy ECHR 24-Oct-2002
The deceased had been a bystander killed by a group of criminals, some of whom were on leave of absence from prison and one of whom had absconded from prison. A complaint was made by the applicant that there had been a breach of the positive duty to . .
CitedRegina (A and others) (Widgery Soldiers) v Lord Saville of Newdigate and Others CA 19-Dec-2001
The court would apply common sense in deciding whether soldier witnesses should be obliged to attend in person at an enquiry in Londonderry, where they claimed their lives would be at risk. It was not appropriate to seek to define what would be . .
CitedRe M (Threshold Criteria: Parental Concessions) CA 1999
In care proceedings the court is not constrained to take the shortest route to an uncontested disposal. Though, the court identified as a general principle ‘there should be no unnecessary litigation in the courts’. . .
CitedZ And Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 10-May-2001
Four children complained that, for years before they were taken into care by the local authority, its social services department was well aware that they were living in filthy conditions and suffering ‘appalling’ neglect in the home of their . .
CitedRe C and B (Care Order: Future Harm) CA 2001
Hale LJ said that ‘a comparatively small risk of really serious harm can justify action, while even the virtual certainty of slight harm might not’. . .
CitedPowell v United Kingdom ECHR 4-May-2000
A ten-year old boy had died from Addison’s disease. No inquest took place, because the coroner decided that the boy had died of natural causes. The parents, who were also affected by the events, had accepted compensation from the local health . .

Cited by:

CitedScholes, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 16-Jan-2006
The deceased had committed suicide whilst in a Young Offenders Institute. The coroner had called for a further enquiry into the way he had been sentenced. The Home Office refused a public enquiry saying that the coroner’s inquest had satisfied its . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 30 June 2022; Ref: scu.226743