Tuesday 31 January – Wednesday 1 February 2023
The Appellant appeals the Divisional Court decision of Warby LJ and Farby J and HHJ Teague QC dated 27 September 2021 to dismiss her application under s.13 of the Coroners Act 1988 for a fresh investigation and inquest into her daughter’s, Ms Whiting’s, death. The conclusion of a 2017 inquest was that the daughter died by suicide. The coroner had heard evidence that a recent Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decision to stop paying Employment and Support Allowance was said to have contributed to her distress. The Appellant accepted that Ms Whiting took her own life but argued that there ought to be a new inquest to look at the failings of the DWP’s staff and their contribution to Ms Whiting’s mental state. The Appellant contended that there was an insufficient inquiry in the original inquest both at common law and under Article 2 ECHR. In addition, fresh evidence had emerged to warrant another inquest (an investigation into the DWP’s handling of Ms Whiting’s case and which criticised the DWP and a consultant psychiatrist report).