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Widower's inquest fight

PUBLISHED: 21:16 13 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:00 22 October 2010

A widower has won the right to the re-opening of an inquest into the death of his wife at a Norfolk psychiatric unit.

A widower has won the right to the re-opening of an inquest into the death of his wife at a Norfolk psychiatric unit.

Kelly Cross died at the Fermoy Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, on July 22, 2004, having been treated there as an in-patient after being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Lynn coroner William Knowles recorded a verdict of suicide at an inquest the following month.

But Mrs Cross's widower, David Cross, of Turbus Road, North Lynn, launched a protest in the wake of the hearing - and the High Court in London agreed that Mr Knowles' verdict should be quashed and a fresh inquest convened.

A post-mortem held the day after Mrs Cross's death gave the cause as asphyxia but lawyers for Mr Cross argued that evidence from the pathologist had not been called at the inquest.

In written papers read at the uncontested hearing by Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Mr Justice Mitting, it was also said on behalf of the widower that his wife's medical records had not been obtained, and that factual issues central to the case had failed to be identified.

There was a further complaint that the inquest had gone ahead without a jury and that the coroner had failed to deliver a “narrative” verdict.

A date has yet to be set for the new inquest and Mr Cross was unavailable last night.

A spokesman for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital declined to comment.


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