Indigo, the Science, People & Politics inter-issue blog. Item eight (corrected 25/6 - in fact item nine), published 24th June, 2015.
Gavaghancommunications.comand 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 paticular 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 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



24th June, 2015. Bradford Coroners' Court:
events surrounding death of Colin David Berry

Day two of the inquest into Mr Berry's death heard detailed police accounts of events surrounding his fatal shooting in April, 2013. All police evidence was given from behind screens, and police witnesses could be seen only by the jury, the coroner, counsel and court officers. The Court heard of prompt attempts (typo in previous word corrected 26th June by Helen Gavaghan) by police and paramedics to administer professional first aid.

Joan Berry, the deceased's mother, a nurse of 49 years, was present in the public gallery throughout. She told me in a break she was pleased to be getting (typo in previous word corrected 5th July, 2015) close to the end of the Inquest.

Terry McGuinness, counsel for Mrs Berry, refused to comment, saying, "I don't mean to be rude, but I would prefer you speak to Mr Davies until this is over."

Mr Hugh Davies QC, representing the chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, said it was not unusual - unfortunately - for Inquests not to occur until two years after a death (typo corrected in the previous word 25/6/2015 - HG). He said, too, when I asked, that there is no specific complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Their involvement in this case, in which eight unarmed police officers were on and around the premises at the time of the fatal shooting, is routine.

The Court heard the shooting occurred during a struggle between Mr Berry and an officer referred to only as officer "A". The police intent, the Court heard, was to execute a warrant searching for a cannabis farm.

The Inquest continues tomorrow. Helen Gavaghan, editor Science, People & Politics.


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