Indigo, the Science, People & Politics inter-issue blog. Item eleven, published 29th June, 2015. and are spidered regularly by the British Library for non-print legal deposit.

Explanatory note added 3rd 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 (typo corrected in previous word, 4th July, 2015) its interaction with the Criminal Justice System. I would like to thank the family 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.

day one

day two

day three

day four

day five

Coroner Court
Jury determinations



29th June, 2015. Bradford Coroners' Court:
live and deactivated weapons at deceased's home.

The Coroner's Court heard this morning, on day four of the Inquest into the death of Mr Colin Berry, of live and deactivated weapons found at the home of the deceased. Live and blank ammunition were also uncovered, during a search which took place after Mr Berry had died. The weapons were unlicensed.

The detective constable from the homicide and major crimes' unit of West Yorkshire Police, who gave evidence about items found at the deceased's home, said also that there was no cannabis farm on the premises. Mr Terry McGuiness, Counsel for Mrs Joan Berry, had asked. The context of the question is that unarmed officers of West Yorkshire Police were on the premises because they had a warrant to search for a cannabis farm [see Indigo database items about the first three days of the Inquest, dated 23rd, 24th and 25th June, 2015, accessible from].

Outside the Court I had asked the detective constable where the weaponry came from, and how so much weaponry and ammunition - so much of it live - could have accumulated in a private individual's possession without the police being aware. The detective had no answer.

The interests of the deceased's mother, Mrs Joan Berry, were represented by barrister, Mr Terry McGuinness. Solicitor, Mr Andrew Garthwaite, represented the chief constable of West Yorkshire Police.

The Inquest continues tomorrow, 30th June, 2015.


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Minor typos corrected in par. 3 on 8th July and in par. 4 on 9th July, 2015. No typos were introduced, or are being ignored, deliberately. Each typo is corrected as soon as possible once noted. HG.