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Topic # 223522 4-Oct-2017 09:26
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Often when I see Coroner's cases reported, there appears to be an enormous delay between the death being investigated and the report. For example, from today's Herald

 

 

 

"Wendy Shoebridge was found dead at a Kings Crescent property on April 3, 2011, said a report into her death by Coroner Anna Sutton."

 

 

 

That is 6 years ago. The delays are not usually that long, but commonly seem to be at least a couple of years.

 

 

 

This seems very odd, as I would think that the purpose of a Coroner is to investigate the circumstances of a death in a timely manner. Anyone explain the delay?






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  Reply # 1877048 4-Oct-2017 09:52
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Have you read more about that case?

 

Falsely accused of benefit fraud and referred for prosecution, she killed herself the following day. MSD's reaction was to put massive effort with 8 lawyers on the case.  The first inquest, the coroner died before releasing his findings. Second inquest, MSD spent at least $300,000 - excluding in-house costs - trying to clear themselves from blame.  Total cost unknown.


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  Reply # 1877068 4-Oct-2017 10:13
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Fred99:

 

Have you read more about that case?

 

Falsely accused of benefit fraud and referred for prosecution, she killed herself the following day. MSD's reaction was to put massive effort with 8 lawyers on the case.  The first inquest, the coroner died before releasing his findings. Second inquest, MSD spent at least $300,000 - excluding in-house costs - trying to clear themselves from blame.  Total cost unknown.

 

 

 

 

It is MSD that needs to be investigated. I would be interested to know just how many suicides there are in this country due to MSD intolerance. In my dealing with staff in this Department they are shocking. For a start your case is discussed in detail in a large open room where all staff and other "clients" can hear. 


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1877109 4-Oct-2017 11:05
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Certainly in this case there were a number of other factors with MSD trying to block and needing to hold the hearing again with a new coroner. Systemically I think in large part it is the workload. There are only a limited number of coroners so cases are queued. I think also it is the time taken for the investigation to take place so all of the appropriate evidence can be presented. Once again limited resources means cases get queued. I think I saw an article last year where the chief coroner was in the media requesting extra funding to try to reduce this lag. This long lag can often lead to more unnecessary deaths and increased grieving for the families of the deceased.


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  Reply # 1877113 4-Oct-2017 11:08
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With around 600 suicides a year presently, I'm not surprised that Coroners are swamped with work. Let alone all the other cases they have to deal with.




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  Reply # 1877367 4-Oct-2017 16:21
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I'm not specifically referring to that case - it was merely the example that reminded me to ask the question. As I said, it's pretty common in all reported instances that several years have elapsed. Given that coroners are often investigating suspicious deaths and may rule a death a murder, thus requiring investigation, I am curious in part as to how the enormous delay might affect natural justice principles.






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  Reply # 1877372 4-Oct-2017 16:41
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The Justice Department is probably best placed to answer this question.





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