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Advice about Coroner's Inquest

(8 Posts)
linziluv Tue 05-Jul-11 11:32:24

My 87 year old grandad had a fall in the garden a week last Saturday...he broke his neck and was paralyzed from the neck down. He died on Thursday in hospital as the nerve controlling breathing was compressed with swelling.
We fully expected a post mortem as he was otherwise physically well.
Today we have been told the report says cause of death bronchial pneumonia due to compressed spinal cord. OK, sounds right. Apparently there now needs to be an inquest.
Can anybody tell me why this needs to be done if the cause of death is known? Also they said we can go ahead and cremate him which is good news.
I've just got awful thoughts about my poor bereaved 86yr old Nanna being questioned by police! I'm just really confused by it all.
TIA

steviesmith Tue 05-Jul-11 11:44:17

I'm sorry for your loss. This explains why there needs to be an inquest.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Death/WhatToDoAfterADeath/DG_066713

For your grandad it's probably because it was an accident.

I attended an inquest after my dad died in an accident and although it was upsetting everyone was very respectful. I'm sure they'll be considerate of your nan.

However we did have to wait quite a few months before the inquest so be prepared for this.

linziluv Tue 05-Jul-11 14:11:53

So it's not a case of them necessarily thinking his death was suspicious?
I looked on Internet before posting here but was still confused as I thought if an inquest was needed then the body wouldn't be released, or at the very least burial only.
I thought an inquest was held when cause of death couldn't be explained...but in this case it can!

iron78 Tue 05-Jul-11 21:36:00

Sorry for your loss
I am in this position too. Lost my mum in March. She had a funny turn/fall which caused a bleed on the brain. We had a post mortom and they have opened and adjourned an inquest. Think it was explained to us thattalthough they have established the medical cause of death they also need to determine the legal cause of death. Still waiting for contact to determine date so as others have said it may take a while.
However, it shouldn't delay funeral. (although we had a burial)

steviesmith Wed 06-Jul-11 11:24:30

Hello again

No it doesn't mean they think it was suspicious. They wouldn't have released the body if there was any doubt that it wasn't an accident.

It really is a formality. It's just as iron78 says it's the legal rather medical cause that needs to be determined.

Pelagia Wed 06-Jul-11 11:28:39

So so sorry for your loss. What a dreadful thing to happen. I really feel for your Nanna too.

My friend died in an accident, nothing suspicious, but there was an inquest. It took quite a long time, but that seems to be normal.

Take care of yourself.

gallicgirl Wed 06-Jul-11 11:46:27

It might be needed because your granddad died in hospital, just to make sure there were no mistakes.

We had one for my granddad when he died in hospital and a lady at the coroners office was very helpful and guided my mum through whole process. It did take a year to come to court though.

linziluv Fri 08-Jul-11 10:08:08

Sorry for not replying sooner...been rather busy with a 5 week old, 3 yr old and all this!
Thanks for all your replies...I feel more at ease with the whole thing.

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