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Non-party costs order (“NPCO”) against credit hire company

<!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>Kindertons Limited v (1) Georgina Murtagh (2) Esure Services Limited [2024] EWHC 471 (KB)</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>Introduction</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:list --> <ul><!-- wp:list-item --> <li>This case concerns a non-party costs order made against a &nbsp;credit hire company, Kindertons Limited (“Kindertons”), in favour of an insurer, Esure Services Limited (“Esure”) and is a <strong>High Court decision</strong> by <strong>Turner J</strong>, handed down on 5 March 2024.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --></ul> <!-- /wp:list --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>Background</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:list --> <ul><!-- wp:list-item --> <li>On 20 February 2019, a minor collision occurred when Georgina Murtagh carelessly drove her Volkswagen Polo into gentle contact with the rear of Serhat Ibrahim’s Audi A5.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Mr Ibrahim’s claim for the costs of repairs was in the sum of £2,543.80.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Two days after the accident, a representative by the name of Rachel telephoned Mr Ibrahim to discuss providing him with a replacement vehicle.&nbsp; During the telephone conversation, Mr Ibrahim described the damage to his vehicle as: “…not a lot of damage.&nbsp; It’s just the back bumper.&nbsp; It looks a bit out of line…”.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Notwithstanding his modest description of the damage, Mr Ibrahim was readily persuaded that he should not be driving the car and that he ought to hire an alternative from Kindertons.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>A report later provided by JP Morris assessors on behalf of Kindertons concluded that Mr Ibrahim’s Audi had suffered no damage in the accident that would have rendered it unroadworthy.&nbsp;</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Rachel told Mr Ibrahim that if the other driver’s insurer, Esure, should offer to provide him with a less expensive alternative hire car he should “just tell them Kindertons are dealing with the claim and end the call from there”.&nbsp;</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>On 23 February 2019, Mr Ibrahim entered into a credit hire agreement with Kindertons for the hire of a Jaguar XF (later replaced with a Mercedes Benz C250 on the same terms) at a rate of £345.08 per day.&nbsp; The period of hire was 33 days.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Also on 23 February 2019, Mr Ibrahim entered onto a credit hire agreement with Kindertons in respect of repair, recovery and storage facilities.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>On 25 February (two days after the initial hire period commenced and before Mr Ibrahim entered into the second hire agreement) Esure sent him a letter offering an alternative replacement vehicle at no cost at all to him but at a cost to Esure of £63.45 per day.&nbsp;</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --></ul> <!-- /wp:list --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>The claim</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:list --> <ul><!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Proceedings were brought by Mr Ibrahim and his wife, Sylvia, against Miss Murtagh limited to £20,000.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>All but £50 of Mr Ibrahim’s special damages claim arose under the credit agreements.&nbsp;</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>In addition, both Mr and Mrs Ibrahim claimed general damages in respect of personal injury, the combined value of which could not have exceeded £3,192.25 having regard to the value of Mr Ibrahim’s special damages claim and the overall claim limit.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Miss Murtagh denied liability and the matter proceeded to a fast track trial.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --></ul> <!-- /wp:list --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>The trial</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:list --> <ul><!-- wp:list-item --> <li>The matter came before Mr Recorder Berkley KC, who found that whilst he was satisfied that a collision had occurred, (i) the damages claimed in respect of the repairs and hire charges had not been caused in the accident; (ii) Mrs Ibrahim was not in the vehicle at the time; (iii) both Mrs Ibrahim and her husband had been fundamentally dishonest in saying that she had been.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Mr Ibrahim did not take up the offer.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Mr and Mrs Ibrahim were ordered to pay Miss Murtagh’s costs in the sum of £12,000.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Mr Ibrahim promptly disappeared, leaving the costs bill unpaid.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --></ul> <!-- /wp:list --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>The non-party costs claim</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:list --> <ul><!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Esure applied for a non-party costs order (“NPCO”) against Kindertons.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>The application ought to have been heard by Mr Recorder Berkley KC but instead came before Mr Recorder Gallagher.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Para. [29]: “It is regrettable that the trial judge did not hear the costs application and that neither side took the issue below.&nbsp; <strong>Particular care should be taken not to list NPCO applications to be heard by a judge who did not sit on the trial without a compelling reason</strong>.”</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --></ul> <!-- /wp:list --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>The decision below</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:list --> <ul><!-- wp:list-item --> <li>The parties agreed that the Recorder had the power to make a NPCO.&nbsp; <strong>The issue was whether he should have exercised his discretion to exercise that power in the circumstances of the case</strong> (para. [30]).</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>The statutory foundation of this power is to be found in <strong>section 51(3)</strong> of the <strong>Senior Courts Act 1981 </strong>which provides as follows: <em>“(3) The court shall have full power to determine by whom and to what extent costs are to be paid”</em>.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>The Recorder correctly referred to <strong>CPR 44.16(2)</strong> as identifying the circumstances in which an NPCO can be made in the context of Qualified One-way Costs Shifting [QOCS].&nbsp;</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>In addition, <strong>CPR 44 PD 12</strong> was noted to provide that <em>“[e]xamples of claims made for the financial benefit of a person other than the claimant…within the meaning of rule 44.16(2) are subrogated claims and claims for credit hire…”</em> and to state at para. 12.5(b) that <em>“the court may, as it thinks fair and just, determine the costs attributable to the claims for the financial benefit of persons other than the claimant”</em>.&nbsp;</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Noting that Mr and Mrs Ibrahim were found to have no viable residual claims which might have been sustained if not for the finding of fundamental dishonesty, the Recorder found that the claim included a claim which was made for the financial benefit of Kindertons and awarded Esure 80% of their costs against Kindertons.</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --></ul> <!-- /wp:list --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><strong>Dismissing the appeal on all grounds…</strong></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:list --> <ul><!-- wp:list-item --> <li>The whole purpose of Kindertons providing credit hire facilities is to make a commercial profit out of the client’s legal claim (para. [39]).</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Kindertons stood to gain substantially from the claim brought in Mr Ibrahim’s name and the price of the services they provided under the contracts with Mr Ibrahim very significantly exceeded the value of the personal injury and “undocumented miscellaneous expenses” claims brought by him and his wife (para. [42]).</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>It followed that Kindertons had a very strong financial stake in the litigation and that <strong>“any benefit to Mr Ibrahim in pursuing the claim for hire charges was all but illusory”</strong> (para. [43]).</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>In relation to the contention that there was no proper basis for the judge’s finding that the appellant controlled the litigation, the court stated: <strong>“There is a danger that the concept of “control” is wrongly treated as if it were a traffic light, governing the exercise of the court’s discretion to make a non-party costs order</strong>, which is showing either red or green.&nbsp; Control is almost invariably a matter of degree.&nbsp; <strong>As a concept, it is relevant to the extent that, in any given case, the greater the level of control exercised by the non-party the more likely it will be that the court will exercise its discretion in favour of making a NPCO”</strong> (para. [44]). &nbsp;</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>The court quoted, with approval, <em>Deutsche Bank AG v Sebastian Holdings [2016] 4 W.L.R.</em> at para. 62: “We think it important to emphasise that <strong>the only immutable principle is that the discretion must be exercised justly</strong>.&nbsp; It should also be recognised that, since the decision involves an exercise of discretion, <strong>limited assistance is likely to be gained from the citation of other decisions at first instance in which judges have or have not granted an order of this kind</strong>” (para. [45]).</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>On the facts of the case, there was a high degree of control: “The contractual terms identified above tied Mr Ibrahim into bringing a claim and continuing it at the risk of incurring serious financial consequences in the event that he were to fail to comply. <strong>It matters little, if anything, that such consequences were not, in the event, visited upon Mr Ibrahim. It is the threat and not the execution of repercussions which forms the usual basis for control</strong>” (para. [46]). &nbsp;&nbsp;Furthermore, by reference to the phone call between Mr Ibrahim and Rachel, the court was satisfied that Kindertons “wished to choreograph the progress of the litigation to preclude [Esure compromising the interests of Kindertons]” (para. [47]).</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>In respect of Kindertons’ contention that Esure needed to have established that Kindertons’ involvement resulted in them incurring more costs in the litigation than they would have done in any event (the “but for” test), the court held that <strong>there is no generally applicable guidance on causation applicable to all NPCO applications</strong> and that Lord Briggs in <em>XYZ v Travelers Insurance Co Ltd [2019] 1 W.L.R. 6075</em> was not intending to lay down any such guidance (paras. [51-52]).&nbsp;</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li><strong>The position of Kindertons was different to liability insurers</strong>.&nbsp; It “involved itself voluntarily and enthusiastically in the claims after the accident giving rise to it”.&nbsp; <strong>Its involvement was “a matter of choice in the expectation of profit specifically related to the legal proceedings to follow”</strong> (para. [54]).</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>The intermeddler cases to which Lord Briggs referred in <em>Travelers</em> fell to be distinguished: “It could not be said that it was none of Kindertons’ business to involve itself in the progress of the litigation.&nbsp; On the contrary, it was very much its business both in a literal and metaphorical sense” (para. [56]).</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>On the circumstances of the case (<strong>“and without seeking to lay down any general rule relating to the appropriateness of NPCOs against credit hire companies”</strong>), the Recorder was right to conclude that it was just to make the order and he was not obliged to make any specific finding in respect of "but for" causation before so doing. <strong>It was neither fair nor just that it should be permitted to exercise a degree of control over the most valuable aspect of Mr Ibrahim's claims</strong> on the basis of instructions from Rachel the specific intention of which was to neuter any attempts by Esure to limit its exposure to the hire claim, <strong>without exposing itself to the potential consequences of a NPCO</strong> (para. [57]).</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>By ordering Kindertons to pay 80% of the costs, “<strong>the Recorder was exercising his discretion appropriately to reflect the proportionate benefit which it stood to obtain if the claim for hire charges had succeeded</strong>. An attempt mathematically to calculate on a "but for" basis of causation would simply not have reflected the unfairness of allowing Kindertons a free ride on the coat tails of Mr Ibrahim's claim” (para. [58]).</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Regarding Kindertons’ contention that Esure should have given notice that it would or might pursue a non-party costs order against it, the court held that “<strong>Kindertons would or should have known only too well that the nature of its business put it at risk of a NPCO application</strong>. The wording of CPR 44 PD 12.2, insofar as it relates to claims for credit hire, provided express warning of this; if any such were needed. I can discern no prejudice to Kindertons in the timing of Esure's application” (para. [61]).</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Regarding the argument that the finding of dishonesty made it unjust to make a NPCO against Kindertons, the court held as follows: “Kindertons voluntarily assumed the risk that Mr and Mrs Ibrahim would turn out to be dishonest….The level of scrutiny which would be applied to any aspect of the claim which it was seeking to adopt was a matter for Kindertons…it may well be that the cost of exercising higher levels of scrutiny would be disproportionate to the money thereby saved but this is a commercial decision the consequences of which must be borne by Kindertons” (para. [63]).</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --> <!-- wp:list-item --> <li>Under the subheading ‘Discretion’: “On the facts of this case, I too would have made a NPCO against Kindertons had the matter come before me at first instance for the reasons I have given. But even if I had not been minded to make such an order, I would still have concluded on appeal that <strong>the approach taken by the Recorder to the exercise of his discretion fell comfortably within the generous parameters afforded to him. Appellate courts will not lightly interfere with such decisions</strong>” (para. [65]).</li> <!-- /wp:list-item --></ul> <!-- /wp:list -->

Dove v Assistant Coroner for Teesside [2023] EWCA Civ 289 (17 March 2023)

<!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Mrs Dove’s daughter took her own life after DWP benefits were withdrawn.&nbsp;In September 2021, the Divisional Court refused her application under s13 of the Coroners Act 1988 to quash the Coroner’s determination and direct a new inquest. The Divisional Court considered that the question of <strong>'how'</strong> someone died in a <em>Jamieson</em> inquest was directed only to the means by which the deceased died, and did not encompass the wider circumstances of their death. In this case, the Court of Appeal considered the meaning of <strong>‘by what means’</strong>.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>In <em>Middleton </em>the House of Lords considered that a coroner determining <strong>‘how’</strong> a person died in a non-Art 2 inquest need only determine <strong>‘by what means’</strong> they died and not the broad circumstances.&nbsp; The meaning of <strong>‘by what means’</strong> has, however, remained elusive.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>By way of background, Jodey Whiting died as the result of suicide having taken an overdose of prescription medication. She had a history of mental health problems, including depression and emotionally unstable personality disorder, and was in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (‘ESA’).&nbsp; It was known to the DWP that she was vulnerable and had previously had suicidal thoughts. &nbsp;&nbsp;At her inquest, Mrs Dove expressed the view that the cessation of her daughter’s ESA, housing benefit and council tax benefit had contributed to the mental distress that led to her suicide.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The coroner held that Art 2 procedural obligations were not engaged and that the actions and decisions of the DWP fell outside the scope of her investigation, albeit on returning a suicide conclusion, the coroner did note within her factual findings that “Jodey had her ESA claim turned down in the weeks before her death” and that her family believed that “this caused extra stress that was a contributing factor in her death.”</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Two pieces of evidence were obtained by Mrs Dove following the inquest: (1) a report from an Independent Case Examiner (the ‘ICE Report’) which found shortcomings in the handling of Ms Whiting’s case by the DWP and (2) an expert psychiatric report that expressed the opinion that there was likely to have been a causal link between the cessation of Ms Whiting’s benefits and her state of mind immediately before her death.&nbsp; It was in the light of this fresh evidence that Mrs Dove had sought a fresh inquest.&nbsp;</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>In dismissing the s13 application, the Divisional Court considered that the question of <strong>how</strong> someone died in a <em>Jamieson</em> inquest was directed only to the means by which the deceased died and did not encompass the wider circumstances of their death, meaning that ‘how’ Ms Whiting died had been properly recorded at the brief inquest.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The Divisional Court’s view regarding the psychiatric report was that whilst it postulated a causal link between the DWP’s failings and Ms Whiting’s state of mind immediately before her death, it did not establish a causal link with the death itself.&nbsp;</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The Divisional Court considered that Art 2 obligations were not engaged.&nbsp; There was no <strong>operational duty</strong> owed to Ms Whiting as: (i) the DWP had not assumed responsibility for her; (ii) her vulnerabilities were not exceptional; and (iii) the risk to her life by suicide was long-standing. &nbsp;There was no arguable breach of the <strong>systems duty</strong> because the DWP’s failings had been individual in her case and not structural or systemic in nature.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>When the case came before the Court of Appeal, it was no longer asserted that the coroner needed to carry out an inquiry into the DWP’s systems and policies since the ICE report served that purpose.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Mrs Dove argued that the Divisional Court had (1) adopted the wrong approach to causation by looking at whether the DWP’s failures directly caused Ms Whiting’s death rather than whether those failings were a <strong>more than trivial cause</strong> of her mental health deterioration and (2) drawn an artificial distinction between Ms Whiting’s mental health and her ultimate death since the former resulted in the latter.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Mrs Dove sought (1) a fresh <em>Jamieson</em> inquest to investigate the issue of causation in respect of the deterioration in her daughter’s mental health just before she took her own life, and (2) a finding that Art 2 obligations were engaged in any event.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The coroner’s position was that to direct a second inquest would result in coroners having to explore ‘why’ rather than ‘how’ someone died, &nbsp;necessitating inquiry into the causes of a person’s psychiatric problems in suicide cases, which would be a controversial task and fell outside the required scope of an inquest in any event.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The Court of Appeal agreed that the specifics of the DWP’s errors and policy breaches lay beyond the scope of any <em>Jamieson</em> inquest, &nbsp;however the question was whether the inquest should now consider the causative impact of the DWP’s admitted failings.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The threshold for causation of death is of course that on the <strong>balance of probabilities</strong>, the conduct must have <strong>more than minimally, negligibly or trivially </strong>contributed to it.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The Divisional Court was wrong to approach causation on the basis of whether the death would have occurred “but for” the particular act or omission.&nbsp; Causation in inquests is a broader concept, encompassing acts or omissions which contribute more than minimally, negligibly or trivially to death. &nbsp;It is therefore open to a coroner in a suicide case to consider the extent to which acts or omissions contributed to the deceased’s mental health deterioration, which in turn led them to take their own life.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The Divisional Court’s error was that they suggested that mental health deterioration could be separated from death, the latter being the end point of the former.&nbsp; The way in which the abrupt cessation of benefits was likely to have affected Ms Whiting’s state of mind was an issue that was ‘well within the scope of a <em>Jamieson</em> inquest’. &nbsp;It not only went to the issue of <strong>intention</strong>, but would assist the coroner in the formulation of a <strong>narrative conclusion</strong>, to reflect the particular anxiety and distress suffered by Ms Whiting before she took her own life.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>It would be open to a coroner presiding over a fresh inquest to find that the sudden withdrawal of benefits contributed to a deterioration in Ms Whiting’s mental health and record a <strong>brief, neutral, factual narrative conclusion</strong> such as: “The deceased took her own life as a result of a deterioration in her mental state exacerbated by the abrupt cessation of her ESA by the DWP”<em>.</em></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The wide discretion conferred on coroners includes establishing the background facts and considering contributory factors before determining whether those facts were or were not causative of death. &nbsp;Restricting a coroner’s discretion to conduct whatever investigations are appropriate within the ambit of a <em>Jamieson</em> inquest to establish ‘how’ the deceased came by their death would be undesirable.&nbsp; Moreover, where suicide is raised as a possible conclusion, part of the coroner’s role is to investigate whether the deceased intended to take their own life and whether the deceased acted while their mind was disturbed (with that fact being recorded if it is established). &nbsp;The cause or causes of disturbance of the mind may be closely connected to the matters which are already before the coroner.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The Court of Appeal went on to consider whether it was necessary or desirable to have a<strong> fresh inquest</strong>.&nbsp; Having established the discretion to consider the impact of events on Ms Whiting’s mental health, the Court of Appeal went on to consider whether in this particular case it was <strong>‘necessary and desirable’</strong> to hold a fresh inquest (applying the s.13 <strong>‘Hillsborough test’</strong>).&nbsp;</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The function of an inquest is to seek out and record as many of the facts concerning the death as the <strong>public interest</strong> requires and to establish the <strong>‘substantial truth’</strong>. &nbsp;In this case the extent to which the DWP’s actions contributed to Ms Whiting’s mental health was part of determining the ‘substantial truth’ and if the death was connected to the abrupt cessation of benefits, the public had a legitimate interest in knowing that.&nbsp; The judges were unanimous that the interests of justice required Mrs Dove to have the opportunity to invite a coroner, at a fresh inquest, to make a finding of fact that the DWP’s actions contributed to her daughter’s deteriorating mental health.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The Court of Appeal held that Art 2 was not engaged on the basis that the basic ingredients of an Article 2 <strong>operational duty</strong> (as outlined in <em>Rabone</em>) were not present. &nbsp;The fact that the DWP is the agency responsible for administering the welfare benefits system does not of itself involve any assumption of responsibility to safeguard against the risks of suicide or self-harm by all those with whom it has dealings.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Takeaways:</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>1) The discretion as to an inquest’s <strong>scope</strong> remains with the coroner.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>2) Whilst the touchstone of causation is important, when setting their investigation’s scope, it is still for the coroner to decide what <strong>‘by what means’</strong> actually means for each inquest.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>3) When addressing the <strong>‘how’</strong> question a coroner may, and in some cases should, in the exercise of their discretion, go beyond a bare determination of the mechanism of death. A more detailed exploration of causation may be required to meet the interests of justice.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>4) <strong>Causation</strong> in the context of an inquest means making a material (i.e., more than trivial) contribution, of which there must be evidence.&nbsp; The subjective opinion of the family is not evidence and will not suffice without more.&nbsp;</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>5) Where it is said that the state of mind of someone who killed themselves was contributed to by their partner’s infidelity, the interests of justice are not likely to require the affairs of individuals to be investigated in public at an inquest.&nbsp; However, where the <strong>shortcomings of a public body</strong> are said to have contributed to a deterioration in mental health, it is harder to see why a coroner would exercise their discretion so as to ignore this factor.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>6) Even where Art 2 is not engaged, the bereaved family and the public have a legitimate interest in knowing how public bodies’ actions impact on citizens’ mental health.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>A copy of the Court of Appeal judgment is <a href="https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__email.coronersociety.org.uk_c_eJxkzj1uxCAQQOHTQBcEMwM2BUWavcaKnyFGu2ssTGTl9tFK6VJ9zSteCcl6a53kYNziCWhdjdzCajIunJB85WqQQefqTKzRFl-5FMEmULoAE1gjGrJdJK11IwYXKOlojeC9K5j77zOHtuPH9UH1-5Fq-2DyGfYZvzOAV-2DCrgJuF3Xpf6XAm739npztHy-2DKfX-2DtwjkPjyROkqVIzziaPvFz3MTpNNs-2D-2DSx81S5v34DAAD-5F-5F-2DC-2DREQ&amp;d=DwMFaQ&amp;c=euGZstcaTDllvimEN8b7jXrwqOf-v5A_CdpgnVfiiMM&amp;r=BRZ95pjmCh-tfCekrLZ-l8USk2pXHnZA-0k36JQ6wsA6ebOyTWGcER0g81JbdmB_&amp;m=NRa0P0pKarMeglsijZ49R7PSeWCoBXVi1ceokXvnuu4&amp;s=AgC-VPu73P4tEckfG05gPJCpOIXAPFOszkWvCVadadA&amp;e=" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">here</a>.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->

Bronia Hartley represented the Probation Service in a 2-week inquest concerning the murder of a 13-month-old-baby

<!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Parklane Plowden barrister, <a href="https://www.parklaneplowden.co.uk/our-barristers/bronia-hartley/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Bronia Hartley</a> represented the Probation Service in a two week inquest touching on the death of Orianna Crilly-Cifrova, a 13-month-old baby murdered by her mother’s partner, Jamie Chadwick, who was under investigation in relation to serious injuries suffered by another child at the time of her death.&nbsp; </p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Before entering a conclusion of ‘Unlawful Killing’, the Coroner considered the involvement of the Children’s Social Care department of Wigan Council, Greater Manchester Police, Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Community Rehabilitation Company and the Probation Service in the events leading up to Orianna’s tragic death, with a particular focus on safeguarding practices and inter-agency working where there is or may be a risk to life.&nbsp;</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Read the full article covering the inquest at <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10719731/Thug-murdered-baby-banned-contact-children-details-recorded-incorrectly.html" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">www.dailymail.co.uk</a></p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p><a href="https://www.parklaneplowden.co.uk/our-barristers/bronia-hartley/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Bronia</a> has experience representing interested persons in a wide variety of inquests including those arising from deaths in custody and mental health units, as well as those arising from accidents at work and road traffic collisions.&nbsp; Bronia has a special interest in Article 2 inquests as a result of her appointment to the Attorney General’s ‘B Panel’ of Counsel.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->