Indigo, the Science, People & Politics inter-issue blog. Item thirteen, published 1st July, 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



1st July, 2015. Bradford Coroners' Court:
accidental death of Colin David Berry.
Appropriate police action.

The eleven jurors empanelled for the inquest into the death of Colin David Berry in April 2013 this afternoon returned a unanimous verdict of accidental death.

The fatal shooting took place during a struggle with a police officer, who was present at the home of Mr Berry with colleagues under the authority of a search warrant for a cannabis farm.

Mr Berry died from a single gunshot wound to the head. The Inquest had heard Mr Berry would have lost consciousness within seconds and died very soon afterwards. He was declared dead at the scene of the accident - his home - at 13.45 by paramedics, who had been called as soon as the accidental shooting occured.

The jury statement said death occured at about 1 pm.

During the Inquest the Court heard that Mr Berry had had amphetamine in his system, at roughly one fifth of a fatal dose. A quantity of cannabis and MDMA were found at the premises after the death, as well as deactivated and live unlicensed weapons and live ammunition.

Representatives from the Independent Police Complaints' commission were present during the Inquest. Mr Hugh Davies QC said, in response to my question, that police federation representatives had been involved only in providing general advise to the officers.

Helen Gavaghan, publisher and editor, Science, People & Politics


HTML and CSS Helen Gavaghan© All rights reserved