It’s been a year of high-profile inquests. The cases that come to mind are Deepcut soldier Cheryl James’s inquest in June and nurse Amin Abdullah who died in February. Although I was moved by the news reports at the time, they are again in my mind today, the 20th anniversary of the inquest into Jenny’s death. Jenny’s died in an equally traumatic way, but her life and death, and subsequently her inquest were not high-profile. Nevertheless, even without the media intrusions, I could relate to the families who had to go through these.
Today, coroners are very mindful of the experience of bereaved families, and the Ministry of Justice even publishes a helpful guide. But in 1996 I was woefully ill prepared. Perhaps 20 years on, it’s time to draw on my memory and come up with some tips for those unfortunate enough to have to face the inquest into the death of a close family member.