Regina v Her Majesty’s Coroner at Hammersmith ex parte Peach: CA 1980

A coroner was obliged to sit with a jury under the section 13(2) of the 1926 Act where the deceased, who was watching a demonstration, was struck a violent blow on the back of his head from which he died.
Bridge LJ said: ‘The key to the nature of that limitation is to be found, I think, in the paragraph’s concern with the continuance or possible recurrence of the circumstances in question.’ The recurrence of the circumstances referred to are those which ‘may reasonably and ought properly to be avoided by the taking of appropriate steps which it is in the power of some responsible body to take.’
Lord Denning MR: ‘when the circumstances are such that similar fatalities may possibly recur in the future, and it is reasonable to expect that some action should be taken to prevent their recurrence.’
Sir David Cairns said: ‘The difficulty is to find a meaning which does not do violence to the words of the Act and which gives effect to what may be taken to have been the intention of Parliament. The reference to ‘continuance or possible recurrence’ indicates to my mind that the provision was intended to apply only to circumstances the continuance or recurrence of which was preventable or to some extent controllable. Moreover, since it is prejudice to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public that is referred to, what is envisaged must I think be something which might be prevented or safeguarded by a public authority or some other person or body whose activities can be said to affect a substantial section of the public. I cannot find any justification for any further limitation of the meaning of the paragraph in question.’


Lord Denning MR, Bridge LJ, Cairns Sir David


[1980] QB 211


Coroners (Amendment) Act 1926 13(2)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedTakoushis, Regina (on the Application of) v HM Coroner for Inner North London and others CA 30-Nov-2005
Relatives sought judicial review of the coroner’s decision not to allow a jury, and against allowance of an expert witness. The deceased had been a mental patient but had been arrested with a view to being hospitalised. He was taken first to the . .
CitedPaul and others v Deputy Coroner of the Queen’s Household and Another Admn 2-Mar-2007
The applicants sought judicial review of preliminary directions given for the intended inquest on the deaths of Diana Princess of Wales and of Dodi Al Fayed. It was submitted that the jurisdiction had been wrongly transferred to the Queen’s Coroner . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 08 April 2022; Ref: scu.235494