Indigo, the Science, People & Politics inter-issue blog. Item ten, published 25th June, 2015.
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Explanatory note added 3rd July, 2015. Minor typo corrected and word added 4th July, 2015. Items 8 to 13 of Indigo are an account, which I reported daily from the press box, of an inquest between 23rd June and 1st July, 2015 at The Law Courts in Bradford. The news reports give a human face to the tragedies which so often lie behind forensic science, in this case in the context of the Coroners' Court, and in a case where police were involved. Reporting such proceedings requires considerable journalistic professionalism. I undertook the task for the Science, People & Politics inter-issue blog, as a complement to a report we will next publish of the Royal Society's special issue on forensic science, and also in the context of an investigation I am making for Science, People & Politics into the place what is termed mental health has in the Court system generally in the UK, and in particular its interaction with the Criminal Justice System. I would like to thank the family of the deceased in this case, none of whom I had ever met previously, nor known of, for their temporary acceptance of me in what is for them a personal grief. Helen Gavaghan. BSc (hons), MCIJ.

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Coroner Court
Jury determinations



25th June, 2015. Bradford Coroners' Court:
Family distress in face of TV news report

After proceedings this morning at the Inquest into the death of Mr Colin Berry in April 2013, the deceased's mother, Mrs Joan Berry, told the press present in the Court of her hurt and anger at the disrespectful manner in which Calendar (an evening TV news programme) had referred to her son in its report the day before. Gesturing to her familly, she said, "They have lost a brother."

This was the third day of the Inquest, and police and paramedic evidence was read by the coroner's clerk to the record.

That evidence was that the first paramedic responder arrived at the scene at 13.19. This was only fourteen minutes after two marked police vehicles had arrived in the vicinity, according to one officer statement, which stated the marked vehicles had arrived at 13.05. Evidence before the Court has so far explored events between 13.05 and 13.19.

The chief constable for West Yorkshire Police was represented by solicitor, Mr Garthwaite. Barrister, Terry McGuiness, represented the interests of Mrs Berry.

The Inquest continues on Monday, 29th June, 2015.


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