Transcript of the Hearing 9 January 2014

 

           1                                       Thursday, 9 January 2014

           2   (10.30 am)

           3                        Ancillary matters

           4   THE ASSISTANT CORONER:  It is very good to see so many of

           5       you here this morning.  We are having just a very short

           6       hearing to deal with more administrative and ancillary

           7       matters.

           8           The first matter that I want to raise is concerning

           9       the orders that I made for anonymity for the jurors and

          10       for the witnesses who have been anonymised.  I want to

          11       make sure that for avoidance of doubt the anonymity

          12       continues until further order from myself and doesn't

          13       expire at the conclusion of the Inquest hearing.  I am

          14       not quite sure, some of the orders seem to have been

          15       worded without that being completely clarified, so

          16       I just want to clarify by making an order that all the

          17       anonymity orders that I made will continue until further

          18       order.

          19           Has anyone got any thoughts contrary to that?  No?

          20   MR MANSFIELD:  No, thank you.

          21   THE ASSISTANT CORONER:  That is very good then.  That is

          22       what will be done.

          23           As we know, I have already made some orders as to

          24       any submissions that any party would like to put before

          25       me as to any schedule 5 thoughts, which will be by the


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           1       end of the month.  The plan would be, I hope, that

           2       I would receive your thoughts about that matter.  I will

           3       then look at it myself and then send out a document in

           4       draft form not to be published on the website at that

           5       stage, just outlining areas where I may be considering

           6       making recommendations or making any other permissible

           7       statement, and then that will be sent to the interested

           8       parties to see whether they have any further reactions

           9       to say about that.

          10           Then, at the conclusion of that, I will then come to

          11       my conclusions, but that is the general proposal.

          12       I don't want to make it too much of a rigid process

          13       because it isn't really a rigid process, as I understand

          14       it, but if anyone has any thoughts about that or would

          15       wish to make any submissions about it, then now would be

          16       the time to do so.

          17           Mr Keith?

          18   MR KEITH:  Sir, may I just say this on behalf of the

          19       Metropolitan Police Service, that it is unlikely that

          20       we'll have anything to say in relation to that first

          21       round of submissions.

          22   THE ASSISTANT CORONER:  Right.

          23   MR KEITH:  But of course it is much more likely that we will

          24       be wishing to respond to what is provisionally proposed

          25       by any other interested party because, of course, the


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           1       submissions are most likely to be directed towards the

           2       systems and practices of the police, so it would make

           3       very little sense for us to develop any submissions in

           4       the first round but we will, in due course, I think,

           5       apply for a certain amount of time, a reasonable amount

           6       of time, to respond to whatever your provisional

           7       observations are.

           8   THE ASSISTANT CORONER:  All right, thank you very much.  It

           9       is perhaps therefore that the best form -- anyone else

          10       has any thoughts they want to say about that?  No?

          11           Those are the two ancillary matters.  I do have

          12       something that I want to say by way of general thanks to

          13       the people who have assisted me as the Assistant Coroner

          14       in this matter, but before we come to that are there any

          15       other matters that any party would wish to raise?

          16   MR MANSFIELD:  I just wanted, on behalf of the family, to

          17       thank you for your patience yesterday waiting for them

          18       to arrive.

          19   THE ASSISTANT CORONER:  Thank you very much, Mr Mansfield.

          20           Let me just actually say some words of general

          21       thanks because, as a Coroner appointed to this

          22       particular Inquest and not a member under the Lord Chief

          23       Justices of Royal Courts of Justice staff, I want to

          24       thank the Lord Chief Justice and the director of the

          25       Royal Courts of Justice in allowing the use of this


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           1       courtroom and indeed the use, therefore, and thanks go

           2       to the Royal Courts of Justice security staff for their

           3       work.

           4           I also want to mention a particular thanks to the

           5       stenographers who have shown admirable patience,

           6       understanding and also really a quite amazing ability

           7       enabling to capture every word and ensuring that we have

           8       all had the transcripts in draft form and then finalised

           9       form the next day, which has been a particular advantage

          10       I think for all concerned in this.

          11           I want to also mention the Royal Courts of Justice

          12       IT team who have tried very hard against almost

          13       overwhelming odds to keep the TV screens going and

          14       Court 76 informed, and indeed want to thank all the

          15       advocates before me, the interested parties who,

          16       whatever else may be said, have, in my view, conducted

          17       themselves and this hearing with admirable skill and

          18       indeed directing many of their questions to very real

          19       areas of concern, which I think have paid off and have

          20       obviously been reflected in many ways in the jury's

          21       conclusions and decisions.

          22           I finally want to mention my own team.  It is a real

          23       luxury for a Judge to have the support of a team such as

          24       the team that I have had: Mr Underwood; Mr Scott, who

          25       has been quite amazingly full of the facts of the case;


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           1       Ms Kemish, and all the others involved; and of course

           2       the jury bailiffs, I want to mention Mrs Sandra Meisner

           3       and Mr Lindon Langley, who have of great importance

           4       looked after the jury.

           5           So all those -- they know who they are in my team --

           6       have worked very, very hard.  I'm aware over, really,

           7       nearly the past year how devoted they have been to

           8       continue to fulfil as best as they have been able the

           9       purposes of this Inquest to be a search for the truth

          10       and to put before the jury as much detail and evidence

          11       as has been able to have been collected.  So I am very

          12       pleased with the way that that has gone and I want to

          13       thank them and all those for supporting me in what has

          14       been quite a difficult but responsible task that I have

          15       hopefully been able to discharge thus far.

          16           So thank you all.  I don't believe there is anything

          17       else.

          18           Ms Kemish, is there anything else that you would --

          19   MS KEMISH:  Sir, just a few thanks as well.  I would like to

          20       thank the teams for the interested persons who have

          21       worked strenuously to ensure that this Inquest has been

          22       as thorough and effective as possible.  I wish to also

          23       thank my team for their sheer hard work and dedication.

          24           Finally, sir, on behalf of everyone involved in the

          25       Inquest, I would like to thank you for your hard work


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           1       and efforts.

           2   THE ASSISTANT CORONER:  Thank you very much.  On that almost

           3       cheerful note let's, I think, draw these conclusions to

           4       a close.  I think this courtroom will be available for

           5       the rest of the day for various parties to remove their

           6       items and for indeed the files and papers behind me to

           7       be taken to another place of safety.  But I do not

           8       believe that there is any further purpose in any further

           9       sittings in this court of this Inquest.

          10           So I draw the Inquest to a conclusion as far as it

          11       has to be in this way.  There will be some formal orders

          12       being made, no doubt through the Coroner's Office in

          13       Barnet and, as I say, there are still the

          14       responsibilities that I have under schedule 5 which

          15       I will discharge in due course.

          16           All right, thank you all very much indeed.  I will

          17       rise.

          18   (10.44 am)

          19                     (The Inquest concluded)

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