Support swells for fresh coroner’s service reform

Lawyers say that the funding model used for the Grenfell inquiry could be implemented in some coroner’s service inquests

The parents of Susan Nicholson, who was murdered by her boyfriend in 2011, last week won a High Court battle for a fresh and full inquest into her death. Robert Trigg, who was jailed for life in 2017, had killed his previous partner, Caroline Devlin, five years before he murdered Nicholson.

Although both deaths were in similar circumstances, neither was initially deemed suspicious. The finding of accidental death in Nicholson’s case was quashed after Trigg’s conviction, but Penelope Schofield, the senior coroner in West Sussex, ruled that a new inquest would be short with no witnesses. The overturning of that decision shines a light on the role of coroners in inquests.