Pounder, Regina (on the Application of) v HM Coroner for the North and South Districts of Durham and Darlington and others: Admn 22 Jan 2009

The deceased died aged 14 in a Secure Training Centre by hanging. He had complained of his treatment and restraint methods used. The mother sought judicial review of the conduct of the inquest, wanting the coroner not to have ruled on the legality of the restraint methods used, and which of the STC Rules and the 1994 Act took precedence.
Held: The Rules were clear and the 1994 ACt could not be used to extend the powers of restraint. Not only was there no lawful authority to do any of this to Adam but doing this to him was subjecting him to at least degrading treatment contrary to Article 3 ECHR. The Coroner had put questions to the jury as to the appropriateness of the force used. The deceased had himself said that he wanted to challenge the legality of the force used, and ‘If Adam’s question had been answered by the Coroner or left open to the jury to consider with appropriate directions, the answers would have been clear. There was no right to hurt such a child in these circumstances. In my judgment it is fanciful to suppose that such an answer could have had no impact on the jury’s consideration of factors contributing to the death.’ The coroner should have considered whether the force used was legitimate. The inquest was quashed.

Blake J
[2009] EWHC 76 (Admin), [2009] 3 All ER 150
Coroners Act 1988 8(1) 8(3) 11(5), Secure Training Centre Rules 1998 (SI 1998/472), Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 9(3) 9(4)
England and Wales
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.
CitedHolgate-Mohammed v Duke HL 1984
A police officer had purported to arrest the plaintiff under the 1967 Act, suspecting her of theft. After interview she was released several hours later without charge. She sought damages alleging wrongful arrest. The judge had found that he had . .
CitedC, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice CA 28-Jul-2008
The court was asked as to what methods of physical restraint were proper in institutions accommodating youths in custody.
Held: The Court had been wrong not to quash the amended rules on the grounds of procedural breaches. The amended rules . .
CitedAl-Nashif v Bulgaria ECHR 20-Jun-2002
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Preliminary objections dismissed (non-exhaustion, abuse of right of petition); Violation of Art. 5-4; Violation of Art. 8; Violation of Art. 13; Not necessary to . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Coroners, Prisons, Human Rights

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.280142