Laurence Vick
Posted on 22 Nov 2013

Luke Jenkins Inquest - Coverage and Comment

Inquest into young Luke's death concludes – news and comment

The inquest into the death of Luke Jenkins has concluded, with the coroner stating in her verdict that there had been no gross negligence at the ward on which he died.

Grateful for the coroner's work but still harbouring unanswered questions, Luke's family have spoken of their sense that the verdict could have gone further.

Comment - Narrative Verdicts

A range of verdicts is available to coroners, including the commonly heard 'unlawful killing' and 'natural causes' verdicts. A narrative verdict, an alternative to these more prescriptive options, sees the coroner producing a more detailed account of the facts, setting out the circumstances of the case in detail and explaining the reasoning behind her final decision.

The narrative alternative will be more appropriate in complex cases, or where the coroner intends to produce a set of recommendations to send to the organisation responsible for the circumstances of the death.

However, the principle function of the coroner and the inquest does not change, and no finding of guilt, or liability, is made. Even a narrative verdict remains restricted to answering questions of who died, how, where and when.

This can be frustrating for the families of the deceased, as it can feel as if a coroner is holding back in what is a particularly complex and emotive situation.

However, it is important to distinguish between the purpose of an inquest and a clinical negligence claim; only the latter aims to establish liability. The Jenkins family intend to pursue a claim through the courts, hoping to find answers to those questions that remain.

Michelmores' Laurence Vick, the Jenkins family's solicitor, speaks in Wales Online, and to ITV News.

BBC and ITV News Coverage of the Jenkins Inquest Conclusion

You can see the BBC coverage of the inquest's conclusion, including an interview with Laurence Vick, in this news report

ITV's Jenkins inquiry coverage can be found in this news report.