Inquest Backlog for Military Dead

#1
The backlog for Military Inquests now stands at over 3 years:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/5407036.stm


Widow accuses MoD of 'no respect'
The widow of a soldier killed in Iraq has accused the government of showing "no respect" for his death.
Sarah King, 38, from Congresbury, Somerset, has had to wait three-and-a-half years for an inquest into her husband's death.

Lt Tony King died alongside five other servicemen after a mid-air collision between two Sea King helicopters on the third day of the conflict.

The Ministry of Defence said it was dealing with a backlog of 71 inquests.

The father-of-two was serving as an observer for the 849 Naval Air Squadron when he was killed in March 2003.

His body was flown back to Britain in April but an inquest was opened and adjourned.

Under current law the inquests of those repatriated to Brize Norton have to be handled Oxfordshire-based Coroner's Court.

But as the Iraq death toll - which currently stands at 119 - has continued to rise, the court has struggled to cope.


It's our basic legal right to know what happened and to ask questions.
Sarah King

"It's very difficult to move on without an inquest. I just want them to get on with it so we can get on with our lives," said Ms King.

"It's our basic legal right to know what happened and to ask questions. It makes a hard situation even worse.

"He did give his life to his country and the government haven't repaid him in the proper manner by showing him any respect," she added.

The coroner's office in Oxfordshire has a backlog of 56 cases, the Wiltshire office has 12 incomplete cases while Richmond had one outstanding, said an MoD spokesperson.

Extra funding has been allocated and more staff, including a retired High Court judge, have been appointed to clear the backlog.

The Department of Constitutional Affairs, which oversees responsibility for inquests, is also considering changing the law so certain inquests do not have to be heard in Oxfordshire.

Edited to add:

You were looking for a buried story PTP!!!
 
#2
I wonder what the inquest back-log is for a)civilians dead in the UK and b)civilians dead overseas? It might be a useful bench-mark?
 
#4
Excuse me for a silly and rather tactless question, but since when have inquests been held for deaths in battle? For something like the Battle of the Somme, one would imagine they would've been swamped.
 
#5
bernoulli said:
Excuse me for a silly and rather tactless question, but since when have inquests been held for deaths in battle? For something like the Battle of the Somme, one would imagine they would've been swamped.
Yes but those were in happier times (!) back before everything had to be somebody else's fault and blame apportioned became more important than lessons learned...
 
#6
Cuddles said:
bernoulli said:
Excuse me for a silly and rather tactless question, but since when have inquests been held for deaths in battle? For something like the Battle of the Somme, one would imagine they would've been swamped.
Yes but those were in happier times (!) back before everything had to be somebody else's fault and blame apportioned became more important than lessons learned...
100% agree with that Cuds.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.
 

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