11th March 2013


10.00am Monday 11 March 2013

Sitting before HM Coroner for the County of Worcestershire, Mr G U Williams at HM Coroner’s Court, Bewdley Road, Stourport on Severn, DY13 8XE

The inquest into the death of 22 year old Kyal Gaffney from Coventry opens on Monday 11 March 2011.  It is expected to last five days.

In July 2010, Kyal Gaffney was involved in a car accident, which led to the death of one of his best friends.  Kyal was driving and sustained significant injuries that left him disabled.

On 18 October 2011, Kyal Gaffney was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence. Upon sentence, he was taken immediately to HMP Hewell.

Shortly after imprisonment, Kyal Gaffney reported feeling unwell.  He started bringing up blood, suffered from fatigue and had unexplained bruising and unusual markings on his tongue amongst other symptoms.  He was seen by two different prison doctors on 31 October 2011 and 5 November 2011.

On 7 November 2011, non urgent blood samples were taken at the prison and sent to the Alexandra Hospital for testing.  They revealed that Kyal Gaffney had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML).

Kyal started deteriorating during the evening of 7 November 2011.  He was vomiting and had a severe headache.  He was taken to hospital via ambulance from the prison.

He later died on the 9 November 2011 at the Alexandra Hospital after suffering from a spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage to the brain; this is a complication associated with AML.

The family has significant concerns about the healthcare that Kyal received in prison, whether his health complaints were taken seriously and acted upon at the appropriate time.

Deborah Coles, INQUEST co-director said:

“This case raises significant concerns about the quality of healthcare provided to prisoners and must be properly scrutinised.”

The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyer Group member Anna Thwaites and Counsel Nick Armstrong at Matrix Chambers.