Marc Willems QC was instructed as Counsel to the inquest by HM Assistant Coroner for the West Yorkshire (Western District), Mr Oliver Longstaff, in the recently concluded inquest into the death of Andrew Hall. Mr Hall died shortly after being in police custody following an assault on a nurse at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
The inquest lasted for 10 weeks in Bradford Coroners Court, commencing April 2021, and raised issues of Race, Use of force by the Police and allegations of Clinical Negligence and mismanagement and was heard before a jury.
Mr Willems in his role as CTI assisted with preparations for the inquest, advised the Coroner on the law and examined witnesses on the Coroner’s behalf.
The inquest was attended by 12 Counsel including 5 Queens Counsel, with 50 witnesses being called of whom 14 were experts. All the experts agreed that this was an unusually complex inquest.
The experts were in fields of Forensic Pathology, Toxicology, Emergency Medicine, Critical care and Anaesthetics, Police training and Psychiatry.
The Jury concluded that the police had used ‘justified, necessary and proportionate’ force to restrain Mr Hall. They also concluded that Mr Hall developed Serotonin Toxicity which accounted for his agitation leading up to his forcible restraint by officers for up to two hours.
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