Morahan, R (On the Application Of) v Her Majesty’s Assistant Coroner For West London [2021] EWHC 1603 (Admin) (11 June 2021)

The issue in this case is whether there is a duty to hold a Middleton inquest following the death of a voluntary in-patient of a psychiatric rehabilitation unit due to an overdose of recreational drugs when she was at home in the community. “Middleton inquest” is here used as a shorthand for an inquest which fulfils the enhanced investigative duty required by article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, as originally explained in R (Middleton) v West Somerset Coroner [2004] 2 AC 182. [1]

The Defendant (“the Coroner”) opened an inquest and conducted pre-inquest reviews at which, following written and legal argument, she held that there was no Middleton investigative duty, although she said would keep the question under review. Those rulings are challenged in these judicial review proceedings [3]

dismiss the application [139]