Regina v West London Coroner ex parte Gray: CA 1988

Before a coroner’s jury could reach a verdict of unlawful killing, it had to be satisfied ‘that the act or omission of a single person must amount to unlawful conduct which was a substantial cause of death’, although Rule 42 of the Coroners Rules forbids the naming of that person. It was unthinkable that a coroner’s jury should find the commission, although not identifying the offender, of a criminal offence, without being satisfied beyond reasonable doubt.
A suicide verdict is ‘still a drastic action which often leaves in its wake serious social, economic and other consequences’.


Watkins LJ


[1988] QB 467


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedIn the Matter of Captain Christopher John Kelly Admn 14-Jun-1996
The deceased was killed by ‘friendly fire’ during a night exercise in Kenya. A verdict of accidental death was returned, and a fresh inquest was sought particularly in the light of a statement from a fellow officer.
Held: The emergence of . .
ApprovedRegina v Wolverhampton Coroner ex parte McCurbin CA 1990
The judicial review test is not simply whether there has been an error of law, but also whether the error has or may have resulted in a wrong verdict being entered. . .
CitedO’Connor, Regina (On the Application of) v HM Coroner for District of Avon and Another Admn 7-May-2009
Two children died when their father jumped with them from a hotel balcony. The father had been acquitted in Crete of manslaughter after evidence of his psychiatric condition. The applicant now challenged the English coroner’s verdict of unlawful . .
CitedBraganza v BP Shipping Ltd and Others CA 22-Mar-2013
The claimant widow sued in negligence after the disappearance overboard of her husband from the respondent’s ship. The court had found insufficient evidence to establish the cause of death, either as to negligence as suggested by the claimant, or as . .
CitedBraganza v BP Shipping Ltd and Another ComC 30-May-2012
The claimant said that her husband, serving as an officer on the defendant’s ship was lost overboard as a result of the defendant’s negligence.
Held: The claim under the 1976 Act failed, but the court awarded the contractual sum claimed.
CitedBraganza v BP Shipping Ltd SC 18-Mar-2015
The claimant’s husband had been lost from the defendant’s ship at sea. The defendant had contracted to pay compensation unless the loss was by suicide. They so determined. The court was now asked whether that was a permissible conclusion in the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 31 July 2022; Ref: scu.187754