Sacker, Regina (on the Application of) v Coroner for the County of West Yorkshire: HL 11 Mar 2004

The deceased committed suicide in prison. Her family sought to have added to the verdict the words ‘contributed by neglect’ and complained that the inquest had not provided a full and proper investigation of the death.
Held: The Act needed to be read in its broader meaning to be compliant with the 1998 Act. ‘The word ‘how’ in section 11(5)(b)(ii) of the 1988 Act and rule 36(1)(b) of the 1984 Rules is open to the interpretation that it means not simply ‘by what means’ but rather ‘by what means and in what circumstances . . it should now be given the broader meaning.’ A fresh inquest was appropriate.
Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Baroness Hale of Richmond and Lord Carswell
Times 12-Mar-2004, [2004] UKHL 11, Gazette 22-Apr-2004, [2004] Lloyds Rep Med 281, [2004] UKHRR 521, [2004] 2 All ER 487, (2004) 79 BMLR 40, [2004] 1 WLR 796
Bailii, House of Lords
Coroners Act 1988 8(1)(c) 11(5)(b)(ii), Human Rights Act 1998 3
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromSacker v HM Coroner for the County of West Yorkshire CA 27-Feb-2003
The court expressed scepticism about the suitability of a coroner’s inquest, in its present form, as a vehicle for carrying out a state’s obligations under Article 2. Those considerations may accentuate the need for an overdue improvement in the . .
CitedRegina v North Humberside and Scunthorpe Coroner ex parte Jamieson CA 27-Apr-1994
The deceased prisoner had hanged himself. He had been a known suicide risk, and his brother said that the authorities being so aware, the death resulted from their lack of care. The inquest heard in full the circumstannces leading up to the death, . .
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.
CitedAmin, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Oct-2003
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 . .

Cited by:
Appealed toSacker v HM Coroner for the County of West Yorkshire CA 27-Feb-2003
The court expressed scepticism about the suitability of a coroner’s inquest, in its present form, as a vehicle for carrying out a state’s obligations under Article 2. Those considerations may accentuate the need for an overdue improvement in the . .
CitedParkin v HM Coroner for North Lincolnshire and Grimsby District Admn 23-Mar-2005
The family appealed against an open verdict. Her son was found hanged at school. The coroner felt unable to be sure that he had committed suicide. He had been looking forward to a new job as a theatre technician.
Held: There was evidence . .
CitedJL, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice; Regina (L (A Patient)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 26-Nov-2008
The prisoner was left with serious injury after attempting suicide in prison. He said that there was a human rights duty to hold an investigation into the circumstances leading up to this.
Held: There existed a similar duty to hold an enhanced . .
CitedSavage v South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MIND intervening) HL 10-Dec-2008
The deceased had committed suicide on escaping from a mental hospital. The Trust appealed against a refusal to strike out the claim that that they had been negligent in having inadequate security.
Held: The Trust’s appeal failed. The fact that . .
CitedLewis, Regina (on The Application of) v HM Coroner for The Mid and North Division of The County of Shropshire and Another CA 21-Dec-2009
The claimant’s son was found hanging in his prison cell. He appealed refusal of a judicial review of the coroner’s decision not to put to the jury a question as to certain possible causative matters. The youth was seen hanging, but the guard called . .
CitedSmith, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence and Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner (Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening) SC 30-Jun-2010
The deceased soldier died of heat exhaustion whilst on active service in Iraq. It was said that he was owed a duty under human rights laws, and that any coroner’s inquest should be a fuller one to satisfy the state’s duty under Article 2.
Updated: 12 January 2021; Ref: scu.194439