Barristers from 1 Crown Office Row appeared at the inquest into the death of a baby following a failed forceps delivery. Baby F suffered a fractured skull and it was found that his injuries implied an excessive degree of force by the obstetrician. In addition, around 25 minutes elapsed after delivery before the serious skull injury was identified by the team of healthcare professionals.
As the evidence of the treating clinicians and independent expert was that Baby F was born stillborn and did not at any point show signs of life, Senior Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray ruled that there was no jurisdiction to continue the inquest. However, the Senior Coroner issued a Prevention of Future Deaths report which identified 11 separate areas of concern. The Senior Coroner’s recommendations included one directed at the Ministry of Justice aimed at progressing work on its consultation in early 2019 on the coronial investigation of stillbirths, in light of the ruling that Coroners currently do not have jurisdiction to hold an inquest into a stillbirth.
Leanne Woods, instructed by Punam Sood of Kingsley Napley, represented the family.
Jonathan Metzer, instructed by Laura Harding of Kennedys, represented the hospital trust.