Chief Coroner: Judge Peter Thornton.

Chief Coroner: Judge Peter Thornton.

Apparently Judge Peter Thornton, Chief Coroner of England and Wales, has insisted that he cannot take any action or issue any advice to coroners on whether they should issue PFD – that’s ‘Prevention of Future Deaths’ – reports after inquests into the deaths of current or former benefit claimants.

He reckons “coroners are independent and the decision to issue a PFD report is for them, depending on evidence they hear”.

How very interesting.

And what a shame that information on his own website makes it clear that this claim is utterly untrue.  His duties include providing “support, leadership and guidance for coroners in England and Wales”.

This includes overseeing the implementation of the new provisions of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. Among those new provisions is schedule five, paragraph seven, which describes coroners’ duties to complete PFD reports.

As new information continues to be revealed regarding the death of Michael O’Sullivan (‘Mr A’ in this report) – and facts about other deaths related to the DWP, but about which PFD reports were not filed, start to come to light – it seems clear that this gentleman should be encouraged to follow his own rules.

His address is 11th Floor – Thomas More Building, Royal Courts of Justice, London WC2A 2LL, if you want to write a letter to him. Alternatively, email: [email protected]

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