Regina v Southwark Coroner ex parte Fields: Admn 30 Jan 1998

The deceased died after being hit by a policemen with his baton when being arrested. The verdict of misadventure was now challenged. The police officer said he had hit out in fear of imminent attack. It was said that the Coroner had permitted those representing the police to bring in previous convictions recorded against the deceased, which was said to be irrelevant and inadmissible and which may unfairly have influenced the jury against reaching a verdict of unlawful killing.It was also said that the officers’ description was inconsistent with the medical evidence.
Held: The application was dismissed. If there had been a verdict of unlawful killing, the officer would have faced trial for homicide at which trial the convictions would have been admitted. The decision was one of fact and degree for the coroner. He was in fact right to rule as he did.


Simon Brown LJ, Mance J


[1998] EWHC Admin 111


Coroner’s Act 1988 13(1)(b), Coroner’s Rules 1984 20(1)(b)


England and Wales


CitedAnderson v Blashki 1993
(Supreme Court of Victoria) The civil standard of proof applies to all findings of coroners although the graver the allegation, the more cogent must be the evidence. . .
CitedRegina v Murray CACD 10-Jun-1994
If one defendant claims a defence of duress from fear of the other’s driving, the other driver’s driving convictions are relevant and can be admitted in evidence. Evidence of the convictions of the other driver should have been admitted even though . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.138232