Norfolk man’s bid for fresh inquest reaches the High Court

Joanne Foreman's step-father Andrew Brown, who has vowed to continue to fight for answers as to how she was killed, after Norfolk police revealed mistakes made in the original investigation more than two years ago.  Photo: Bill Smith Joanne Foreman's step-father Andrew Brown, who has vowed to continue to fight for answers as to how she was killed, after Norfolk police revealed mistakes made in the original investigation more than two years ago. Photo: Bill Smith

Peter Walsh peter.walsh@archant.co.uk
Thursday, January 16, 2014
6:18 AM

A Norfolk man battling to discover the full facts behind his stepdaughter’s death has taken his fight to the High Court – almost three years after she died.

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Andrew Brown appeared before two judges yesterday to urge them to direct a fresh new inquest into the death of Joanne Foreman after police revealed “missed opportunities” in the original investigation into her death.

Norwich shop worker Joanne Foreman, 41, was pronounced dead at her home in St Helena Way, Horsford, on March 12, 2011, after being discovered by her partner.

An inquest held in September 2011 heard the cause of Miss Foreman’s death was “unascertained” with the coroner recording a narrative verdict that it was not possible to reach a safe and reliable conclusion as to how she died.

But Mr Brown, who lives with his wife Suzanne at The Glade, Costessey, does not accept the verdict and told the court he has devoted “hundreds of hours” to the task of finding the answers which still elude him over Miss Foreman’s death.

Representing himself before Lord Justice Pitchford and Judge Peter Thornton QC, he claimed that – despite repeated reviews and reinvestigations of the case – Norfolk police “have still not effectively investigated the circumstances of my daughter’s death”.

Lawyers for Norfolk’s chief 
constable were in court and insisted police had carried out a thorough investigation into Miss Foreman’s death.

It was conceded that “some new facts had emerged since the inquest” in relation to blood and glucose levels found at the time of death, but the police lawyers said they doubted whether these facts would lead to a different verdict in the future.

At the start of the case Lord Justice Pitchford noted that lawyers now “concede that there are grounds upon which the court could order a fresh inquest to take place”.

However, the judge said the court would reserve its decision on whether to do so, although pledging that a ruling will be given “as rapidly as possible”.

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