Attention of Mrs EM Conolly, Law & Democratic Services, North East Lincs Council, Municipal Offices, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, NE Lincs. DN31 1HU
3rd April 2006
Dear Mrs Connolly,
Thank you for taking the time to speak to me when I called at your office on Friday, 31st March 2006.
This email is to set on record our conversation and fix in writing my concerns about the treatment, which my father’s family and I have received at the hands of the coronal service and others. Should you have any comment on the accuracy of anything contained within this email, I would be grateful if you would come back to me.
Perhaps you would send the information, which I have asked you for, without delay?
1 I asked you for copies of the Accounts of North East Lincolnshire District Council, in respect of the Coroner's Service, for the last 4 years. To include, if possible a breakdown into expenses of office and saleries paid and to whom they were paid:
2 I asked to be shown the Council Minute, which recorded the Appointment of Paul Kelly as Assistant Deputy Coroner. In respect of that request, I quote the Coroners Act 1988:
Appointment of deputy coroners.
6.—(1) Every coroner—
(a) shall appoint as his deputy a person approved by the chairman of the relevant council; and
(b) may appoint as his assistant deputy a person so approved.
That seems to clearly indicate that the Council approval would have to be gained and therefore, ‘minuted’.
The other indication that the Council should have ‘minuted’ the appointment, had it taken place, is contained within the Coroners Act 1988 at:
(3) If by reason of any order under subsection (2) above it is in the opinion of the Secretary of State necessary that the number of coroners for a non-metropolitan county should be increased,
(a) the council shall appoint such number of additional coroners for that county as the Secretary of State may direct; and
(b) section 1(3) above shall apply with respect to any such appointment as if a vacancy had occurred in the office of coroner for that county.
You will notice that the references above are that:
a “(3)If by reason of any order under subsection (2) above it is in the opinion of the Secretary of State necessary that the number of coroners for a non-metropolitan country shall be increased,..”
This indicates that not only should there be a Council ‘minute’, in both North and North East Lincs District Council records, but there should also be a record lodged at the office of the Secretary of State.
b “the Council shall appoint..”
That phrase shows that the Appointment must have been ‘minuted’ had it ever taken place.
3 I asked to be shown a copy of the information, which had gone to the Department for Constitutional Affairs, to the Lord Chancellor.
4 I told you why I believe that it is possible that Paul Kelly has never been appointed to any function within the Coroner's Service of North East and North Lincolnshire District Councils.
a No-one seems to know his job title - variously referring to him as Assistant Deputy Coroner and Deputy Coroner for North Lincs and Grimsby District, as if these two job titles are interchangable - which they are not.
b You do not seem to know his job title either, or whether he has such a job title as Assistant Deputy Coroner North Lincs and Grimsby District, since you have informed the Court of Administration throughout the Acknowledgement of Service that Paul Kelly is the Deputy Coroner for North Lincs and Grimsby District, which he is not.
c I state these facts in the certain knowledge that:
i David Overton, solicitor of Grimsby, remains the Deputy Coroner, North Lincs and Grimsby District.
ii Andrew Pascoe, solicitor of Sergeant & Collins, Scunthorpe, remains the Assistant Deputy Coroner, North Lincs and Grimsby District.
since I have recently received confirmation from both men that this is the case.
d Also, there seems to be a curious coming together of the various members of the Coronal Service:
i in that I have already been informed by two staff at the Coroner's Office in Cleethorpes that ES Hooper, HM Coroner, South Yorkshire East District, who formerly sat on the evidence in respect of my father's murder and Paul Kelly, the man who claims to be HM Assistant Deputy Coroner, North Lincs and Grimsby District, have been close friends for around 20 years.
ii I have researched and found that Paul Kelly was a Partner at the same solicitors practice – Sergeant & Collins of Scunthorpe – in 1991 before he went to Hong Kong
iii also I know that J Stewart Atkinson, now HM Coroner, North Lincs and Grimsby District, was at that same solicitors practice as a Partner in 1991 – Sergeant & Collins of Scunthorpe.
iv and that Mr Andrew Pascoe, now HM Assistant Deputy Coroner, North Lincs & Grimsby District, was a Partner in 1991 and is currently a Partner at Sergeant & Collins, Scunthorpe
SERGEANT & COLLINS
solicitors, 25 OSWALD ROAD SCUNTHORPE SOUTH HUMBERSIDE DN157PS
J S Atkinson – James S – Assistant Coroner/Notary Public – April 1969
P Wright – Peter – LL.B(Lond) – Dec 1975
A W Pascoe – Andrew – LL.B(Manch) – April 1975
P Kelly – Paul – Notary Public – June 1981
Sergeant, Peter A – MA(Oxon) Notary Public – November 1949
(I suggest no impropriety in respect of Mr Andrew Pascoe or Mr David Overton, only remarking about what I know to be fact.)
e I have documentary evidence, which states that ES Hooper, HM Coroner, South Yorkshire East District and Paul Kelly met, at Paul Kelly’s home, whilst my sister and I were being reassured, by the Coroner’s Administrator and Coroner’s Officer at the Town Hall, Cleethorpes, that these two men would not meet nor discuss the merits of the evidence or other aspects of my father’s inquest, when documents were passed from one Coroner to the other ‘coroner’. We were also assured that all the documents would be handed over and that the new Coroner would then start from scratch.
f I also have documentary evidence which states that ES Hooper, HM Coroner, South Yorkshire East District, had no intention of handing over the documents with which my family and I had provided him, preferring merely to hand over a ‘cherry picked’ selection, when the two men met, in the privacy of Paul Kelly’s home. This gave these two ‘friends of 20 years’, ample chance to discuss in great depth, what would then happen in respect of my father’s ‘inquest’. Such discussion would, so I am told, have been illegal.
g It is certainly the case that Paul Kelly then received, from me, a repeat of the documentary evidence which I had already given to ES Hooper, so that I could ensure that he had, the information which showed, beyond doubt, that my father, Ralph Winstanley had been deliberately killed, when he had not been dying. That evidence was clear and unambiguous.
h It is also the case that I asked Paul Kelly, several times and in writing, to ask for ‘a full and transparent police investigation into my father’s murder, by a Police Force away from the boundaries of, and unconnected to South Yorkshire Police Force’, whose senior officers, (Chief Constable Mike Hedges (retd August 2004) and Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes), have both consistently refused to investigate my father’s death, whilst lies were being told by senior officers, to members of the public, by stating that my father’s death had been investigated.
i Throughout the time when Paul Kelly had charge of the evidence which showed certainly that my father had been deliberately killed, he refused to deal with my father’s own family exhibiting a breathtaking amount of bias both in the Pre-Inquest Review and during the ‘inquest’ (5th October 2005), which I – and my family - regard as having been entirely corrupt.
j It became obvious to my family and me, before and during the ‘inquest’ that there was a pre-determined verdict which Paul Kelly – possibly in agreement with ES Hooper, HM Coroner, South Yorkshire East District - was determined to reach:
i And that the ‘inquest’ was regarded as a mere formality, and a way of shutting up the genuine concerns which my family and I had in respect of the deliberate murder of our father, Ralph Winstanley,
ii and the risk which other old ill and vulnerable people had been left to face, because of the cover-up which was being promoted by the Coroner’s service and South Yorkshire Police Force and its Police Authority and the three NHS Trusts whose doctors and nurses were instrumental in killing that defenceless old man, my father, Ralph Winstanley.
iii And that this cover-up of murder was also designed to cover-up the fact that Ralph Winstanley had already been fleeced by his second wife and her family, before they had him killed by the NHS.
4 It is apparent in the Coroners Act 1988 – Section 28, below - that HM Coroner for North Lincs and Grimsby District should have notified the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs of every inquest which he or his Deputy or Assistant Deputy Coroners have held, during 2005, by 1st February 2006. *****I would like to see a copy of that information:
Annual returns to be made to Secretary of State.
28.—(1) Every coroner shall on or before 1st February in every year furnish to the Secretary of State a return in writing, in such form and containing such particulars as the Secretary of State may direct, of all cases in which an inquest has been held by him, or by some other person acting for him, during the year ending on the immediately preceding 31st December. (2) Every coroner shall also, as and when required by the Secretary of State, furnish to the Secretary of State returns in relation to inquests held and deaths inquired into by him in such form and containing such particulars as the Secretary of State may direct.
I have been informed, (29.03.2006), by the Coroners Unit at the Department of Constitutional Affairs, that whilst they have a record that J Stewart Atkinson is HM Coroner, and Mr David Overton is HM Deputy Coroner, for North Lincs and Grimsby District, they have no record of any Assistant Deputy Coroner for North Lincs and Grimsby District..
5 I am aware that whichever Coroner (or Deputy Coroner or Assistant Deputy Coroner), undertakes an inquest, he has to sign all the documents in his own name. Effectively, he has to run the inquest – as if he were HM Coroner, even if he is only HM Deputy Coroner, or HM Assistant Deputy Coroner. He has to state that he was running that inquest, not merely that it was run in the area of HM Coroner for that district.
In that case, why did Mr J Stewart Atkinson formally ask that Professor Tim Illidge should provide a Report into the medical records of my father, Ralph Winstanley? There has never been any suggestion that Mr J Stewart Atkinson was asked to, or was ever running, the inquest into the death of my father, Ralph Winstanley. So why was it he who asked Professor Illidge for a Report? Why did Paul Kelly not ask for the Report? Was it not he who was running the inquest?
6 Since the Coroner’s Officer, Mr Martin Armstrong, and the Coroner’s Administrator, Mrs Joanne Grady, and other of the Coroner’s Officers were involved in matters in respect of Ralph Winstanley’s inquest, it is made apparent that HM Coroner, North Lincs and Grimsby District, was fully aware, (and presumably in agreement?), that Paul Kelly was stating that he was Assistant Deputy and Deputy Coroner? In that case, Mr J Stewart Atkinson must have been aware of what was going on within the Coroners Court in his own District. Also, the fact that it was Mr J Stewart Atkinson who requested the Report from Professor Tim Illidge, also seems to show that he was fully aware of what was happening.
7 We must also look at the matter from the point of view of the Law, as it relates to Coroners, as stated in the Coroners Act 1988,
3, (d) that the death occurred in circumstances the continuance or possible recurrence of which is prejudicial to the health or safety of the public or any section of the public,
he shall proceed to summon a jury in the manner required by subsection (2) above.
The documents presented to Paul Kelly, (as they had also previously been presented to ES Hooper, (HM Coroner, South Yorkshire East District), showed the clear need for a Jury. Paul Kelly refused to swear such a Jury. This indicates either that he had no experience or information of the legal duties of a Coroner, or that he was acting corruptly.
8 HM Coroner North Lincs and Grimsby District is J Stewart Atkinson. The law, in the form of the Coroners Act 1988, states:
Functions of deputy coroners.
7.—(1) A deputy coroner may act for his coroner in the following cases but no others, namely—
(a) during the illness of the coroner;
(b) during the coroner's absence for any lawful or reasonable cause; or
(c) at an inquest for the holding of which the coroner is disqualified.
(2) Where a coroner vacates office, his deputy—
(a) shall continue in office until a new deputy is appointed;
(b) shall act as coroner while the office remains vacant; and
(c) shall be entitled to receive in respect of the period of the vacancy the same remuneration as the vacating coroner.
(3) An assistant deputy coroner—
(a) may act as coroner where the deputy coroner would be entitled to act as coroner but is unable so to act owing to illness or absence for any reasonable cause; and
(b) where the coroner vacates office, may act for the deputy coroner in like manner while the office of coroner is vacant.
I take it that J Stewart Atkinson was perfectly capable of taking an inquest, which did not come into the Coroner’s Court at Scunthorpe until 6 months after it was moved over the border from Doncaster? In that case, the law states that he must take that inquest.
If he was not up to the matter, the law also states that his Deputy must take that inquest, as if he were HM Coroner. J Stewart Atkinson’s Deputy Coroner is David Overton. David Overton did not run my father’s ‘inquest’. I strongly suspect that no coroner ran my father’s ‘inquest’.
9 You will see – below - that the Coroners Act 1988, makes provision for inquests held out of Jurisdiction. That provision is for ‘the Coroner’. It is not for some ‘mate’ of the coroner or for any old Assistant who happens to be passing. – but for the Coroner himself. Paul Kelly is not HM Coroner, North Lincs and Grimsby District.
Inquest out of jurisdiction.
14.—(1) If it appears to a coroner that, in the case of a body lying within his district, an inquest ought to be held into the death but it is expedient that the inquest should be held by some other coroner, he may request that coroner to assume jurisdiction to hold the inquest; and if that coroner agrees he, and not the coroner within whose district the body is lying, shall have jurisdiction to hold the inquest.
10 The other aspect of this case is that the Law and Democratic Services Department of North East Lincs District Council, is publicly funded, from Council Tax.
It seems to be prepared to spend that tax on defending someone who might not ever have been employed by the Coroner’s Service of either North East Lincs or North Lincs Council areas.
If that is the case, I would be interested to be told, whether the Standards Committees of those two councils agree that this man should be operating within their areas, in such a highly suspect manner; moreover a man who makes the claim that he is employed on behalf of Her Majesty via the Lord Chancellor and the two District Councils
11 On the other hand if it is found to be the case that Paul Kelly was actually employed by the Coronal Service for North Lincs and Grimsby District, then I would wish to make a formal complaint to the Standards Committes of both Councils in respect of his illegal dealing with the inquest of my father in that he:
a refused to deal at all adequately with the family of Ralph Winstanley, following the handing over of the inquest, from ES Hooper, HM Coroner, South Yorkshire East District.
b refused to swear a Jury for an inquest which was being held in respect of the killing, by doctors and nurses from three NHS Trusts, when that man provably had not been dying.
That is a matter of ‘public interest’ in that other people could very well be in danger of dying in the same way as Ralph Winstanley.
That ‘public interest’ test, should legally override any preferences of whichever of Her Majesty’s Coroners is holding the inquest – as stated in the Coroners Act 1988, Section 8, 3, d, which is quoted above, at point 7.
c refused to allow vital evidence to be brought into the Coroners’ Court, in spite of having had that evidence presented to him many months before the ‘inquest’ was held. That works against the Coroners Act 1988
(5) An inquisition—
(a) shall be in writing under the hand of the coroner and, in the case of an inquest held with a jury, under the hands of the jurors who concur in the verdict;
(b) shall set out, so far as such particulars have been proved—
(i) who the deceased was; and
(ii) how, when and where the deceased came by his death;
Where obviously vital evidence is not allowed into the Coroners Court, in spite of being presented as sworn evidence, with strong Documentary evidence to back it up, there is no way in which HM Coroner can possibly hope to fulfil the legal requirements of the Coroners Act 1988 in respect of finding out ‘how the deceased came by his death’
12 In respect of whether or not Paul Kelly qualifies for Coroners Act 1988
(4) The Lord Chancellor may, if he thinks fit, remove any coroner from office for inability or misbehaviour in the discharge of his duty.
(5) A coroner who is guilty of corruption, wilful neglect of his duty or misbehaviour in the discharge of his duty shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine or to both.
(6) Where a coroner is convicted of an offence under subsection (5) above, the court may, unless his office as coroner is annexed to any other office, order that he be removed from office and be disqualified for acting as coroner
I certainly feel that both, ES Hooper, HM Coroner, South Yorkshire East District and J Stewart Atkinson, HM Coroner, North Lincs and Grimsby District, both qualify, under the terms of the Act, for removal from their posts. I would like to have this looked into by both councils who employ HM Coroner, North Lincs & Grimsby District on behalf of the Lord Chancellor.
Also I will now be taking the matter up with South Yorkshire, in respect of ES Hooper, HM Coroner, South Yorkshire East District, who not only saw fit to deliberately hinder justice by refusing to ask for a full transparent investigation into my father’s death, but also saw fit to drag this matter on for 12 months, whilst scattering Interim Death Certificates, which aided the people who had deliberately had my father killed, and then proceeded to assault me – as his Coroner’s Officer PC Edward Iszatt had also done - following simple requests for information .
I look forward to your early reply, with copies of the information, which I have requested.
Charlotte Peters Rock
Holly House, Middlewich Road, Allostock, Knutsford, Cheshire. WA16 9JX
0156 572 2738 – 07050 183 417
sister sites: 1.http://rwinstanley.blogspot.com 2.http://ralphwinstanley.blogspot.com 3.http://ralphwinstanley83.blogspot.com 4.http://winstanleyr.blogspot.com 5.http://ralphwinstanleyofwath.blogspot.com