18 July 2023



  • We’re hiring!
  • No More Deaths Campaign
  • INQUEST needs your support
  • Prisons
  • Police
  • Mental health
  • Grenfell Tower
  • Unlocking the Truth for 40 years
  • Accidental death of an anarchist
  • Other news
  • Family section: with upcoming events and opportunities for bereaved people working with INQUEST

We’re hiring!

We are looking for an Executive Assistant to the Executive Director. Organised, system-orientated, able to react efficiently to pressure, change and multitasking, the ideal candidate will possess outstanding communications skills necessary to liaising with a varied audience. To find out more and apply visit our website.

Hours: 17.5 – 21 / week
Salary: £33,714 pro rata

Closing date: Monday 7th August 1pm
Interviews: W/C 14th August


On 27 June, we came together with bereaved families, parliamentarians and campaigners to mark the launch of our newest campaign: No More Deaths: The case for a National Oversight Mechanism.

The campaign seeks to ensure transparency and fix the accountability gap following preventable state-related deathsChaired by Helena Kennedy KC who described INQUEST and ‘one of the most important human rights organisations the meeting heard from a variety of speakers including Deborah Coles, Leslie Thomas KC, Andy Slaughter MP and bereaved families.

Richard Caseby, the father of Matthew Caseby, who died whilst in the care of the Priory, knows only too well why we urgently need a National Oversight Mechanism to end preventable deaths.

The loss of a child changes your DNA. The natural order of the world is permanently
disrupted even though the sun dares to show its face each morning. Amid all this, one other thought persists: a resolve that no other parent should suffer like you needlessly.”

Gaia Pope, 19, died in 2017. Gaia was a rape survivor with complex needs who had been repeatedly failed by the police, mental health and social care services, and went missing from her home in Dorset.

Her cousin, Marienna Pope-Weidemann, wrote in The i about her family’s experiences and why she supports our #NoMoreDeaths campaign. In her powerful call to action, she said:

"The law may be complex but the truth is simple. As long as inquests give only the illusion of accountability, the state saves face and it is people like Gaia who pay with their lives."

Dr Georgia Philips, who attended the launch, wrote about the event and how we, individually and collectively, can put pressure on Government to put an end to preventable state-related deaths.

Now we need more support from people like you, as the campaign continues:

  1. Sign the petition
  2. Write to your MP to ask for their support using our draft template.You can find your local MP and email them here.
  3. Share the campaign on FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn.

Find out more about the campaign here.

INQUEST needs your support

Our INQUEST runners Naomi and Rosanna after the race

On 21 May, 21 runners, including our very own Naomi, Luana and Rosanna, ran the Hackney Half Marathon and together raised over £10,000 in support of our vital work.

A big thank you as well to the Lucas family and their Lily of the Valley Fundraising Fitness Festival which raised over £9,200 for INQUEST. The event was created by Lily’s family in her memory.

We as a family believe that the work done by INQUEST is extremely important, not just to help the families of those sadly no longer with us, but also to prevent future tragedy, and injustice. We’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part in the event in any capacity, and also to those who have donated money from afar.”

Want to support us too? Start your own fundraiser here or donate to our appeal!


Donna Mooney, sister of Tommy Nicol, and our Director Deborah Coles. Photo © Andy Aitchison

Tommy Nicol is one of 25 people who took their own life on an Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence. An IPP is an indeterminate sentence in which a person is detained in prison for a potentially unlimited period of time.

Tommy died in 2015, two years over his minimum tariff with no hope of being released. He described the IPP sentence as the ‘psychological torture of a person who is doing 99 years’.

His sister Donna Mooney, has since become a vocal campaigner against the IPP sentence with UNGRIPP, an organisation campaigning for all those affected by IPP sentences.

She spoke to the Guardian about why she is calling on the Government to urgently deal with the thousands of people still in prison under the controversial sentence.

“I would hope that if I say something it will stop other families having to go through this – this is traumatising. It’s not just the person in prison it affects – it has affected every single one of us.”

Earlier this month, INQUEST visited UNGRIPP’s exhibition encompassing photography, poetry, visual art and testimony from people serving IPP sentences and their families in the place where it all began: parliament. Find out more about the hard-hitting exhibition here.

In April 2021- March 2022, there were on average 29 pregnant women in pris on at any given time and 50 births took place in custody despite sentencing guidelines stating that the imprisonment of pregnant women must end in all but the most exceptional of cases. 

Baby Aisha Cleary died in HMP Bronzefield in 2019 after her 18-year old mother gave birth alone in her prison cell. An inquest into her death opened at the beginning of May and examined the circumstances of Aisha’s death and whether any failures in the care provided to Aisha’s mother or to Aisha contributed to her death.

The Guardian reported on the opening of the inquest here. The coroner will now give his conclusions on Friday 28 July.


Since April 2023, nine people have died following contact with police. Four of these deaths occurred following police pursuit.

In Cardiff, two teenagers aged 15 and 16 died after the e-bike they were riding crashed on 22 May 2022.

Video footage shows them being chased by a police van just before. Our Director Deborah Coles spoke to the Guardian about the lack of transparency and accountability from the police following their deaths.

“Two children are dead, their families are grieving, and the community has legitimate concern.

Lies and misinformation in the early stages after a police-related death are all too common. These are tactics which are designed to deflect and distract from rightful public and community disquiet.”

An investigation by The Ferret has uncovered that more than 200 people have died following police contact in Scotland since 2013. Our Director Deborah Coles spoke on their podcast about the lack of transparency and secrecy from the police force and how this prevents proper scrutiny.

A few weeks later, the Scottish Police Chief admitted that the force was institutionally racist and discriminatory.

On 12 April, a man died after being Tasered by police in Peckham, London. He appeared to be experiencing a mental health crisis. Two Metropolitan Police Officers have now been placed under criminal investigation for gross negligence manslaughter by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

In May, the Metropolitan police announced that they would stop attending mental health call outs from September. Our Director Deborah Coles spoke to The i about how we can best support people in crisis and how to reinvest the saved resources to keep people safe:

“Inquest has seen the harmful and fatal outcomes of police responses to people in mental health crisis and have long argued for community based alternatives.

We need to urgently invest in non punitive mental health care and crisis intervention teams delivered with and by communities to deal with crisis situations. A more humane and less harmful response.”

The fatal consequences of police mental health callouts are felt most acutely by the families left behind. The family of Oladeji Omishore know this only too well. They are still calling for answers over his death over one year on.

Oladeiji, known as Deji, died on 4 June 2022. The 41 year old Black man fell into the River Thames after having been subjected to multiple Taser discharges by a Metropolitan Police Officer on Chelsea Bridge. It seems clear that he was experiencing a mental health crisis.

The family have now learned that two officers are being investigated by the police watchdog for potentially failing to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

Jermaine Baker was fatally shot by a police officer in 2015. Last week, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from the officer, known an W80. He may now face misconduct proceedings.

His mother Margaret spoke to Channel 4 about how this ruling is not just for her, but will give hope to other families too.

This case brings important legal clarity to the police misconduct process, which could help improve police accountability more broadly. 

Mental health

Following years of campaigning from bereaved families, the inquiry into mental health deaths in Essex has finally been granted new statutory legal powers. This means the inquiry can force witnesses to give evidence, including former staff who have previously worked for services within the county.

An inquest into the death of Edwige Nsilu found that neglect contributed to her death at a mental health unit in Basildon, Essex. Edwige, 20, died in February 2020 after being found unresponsive with multiple ligatures whilst detained under the Mental Health Act.

Speaking after the inquest, her mother Joyce Nsilu, said: “Edwige will always be our daughter, big sister, and aunt. She never got to meet her nieces and nephews but we will always remind them and future ones of who she was. 

We miss her dearly and will never stop wondering what could have been different.

Marion Michel, 56, died whilst an inpatient at Brockfield House, Essex. As Marion’s death took place in 2022, it does not come within the scope of the inquiry. An inquest found an absence of focused risk assessment possibly contributed to her death.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valley (TEVW) NHS Trust is being prosecuted by the Care Quality Commission over failings relating to the deaths of three young women in their care.

The charges relate to the care of 17-year-old Christie Harnett, from Newton Aycliffe, Emily Moore, 18, from Shildon, and another woman who has not been named. The case has been adjourned until September to obtain additional evidence.

Rachel Garrett, 22, died after falling from a height in Brighton on 29 July 2020. She had been in crisis and had both mental and physical health needs, including cerebral palsy. An inquest found that there had been a missed opportunity to save her life.

Her parents, Andy and Sarah, spoke to ITV News about their grief and how their concerns were repeatedly ignored by those involved in Rachel’s care.

The inquest into the death of June Angela Challis found that failures contributed to her death on a Kent mental health ward. June Angela, known to her friends as ‘Angie’ died aged 55 in August 2022.

The inquest concluded that failures in risk assessment, documentation and support, along with insufficient observations due to lack of staff in a Kent mental health ward, contributed to June’s self-inflicted death.

Billy Guedalla, 46, was found dead on 30 October 2021 after taking their own life at home having wrongly been allowed to leave Homerton Hospital, London, the day before. Now a Coroner has issued a Prevention of Future Deaths report following concerns over short-staffing risks to patient safety.

Grenfell Tower

Flower tributes at the annual Grenfell Silent Walk

The 14th June marked 72 months since 72 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire. We joined the Grenfell Silent Walk to stand alongside the community and remember their loved ones six years on. Our Grenfell Project Coordinator, Aniesha Obuobie, wrote a blog on the long road to justice and accountability and why we need to keep talking about Grenfell.

40 years of INQUEST

In May, we held the first ever showing of our SoulsINQUEST exhibition at 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning in Brixton.

SoulsINQUEST uses photography and writing as a lens onto state violence, death, grief and resistance. The exhibition is an embodiment of family resistance that refuses to be silenced, misrepresented or forgotten.

A collaboration between bereaved families, Sarah Booker, INQUEST, and curated by Languid Hands, it is a powerful act of defiance in response to decades of injustice. The exhibition, which was on for two weeks, was a huge success

Three of the family participants, Anna Susianta, Rosie Tozer and Aji Lewis, spoke to the Guardian about the inspiration behind their images in the exhibition.

Accidental death of an anarchist

The cast and crew with Aji Lewis, Anna Susianta, Marcia Rigg and our Director Deborah Coles

INQUEST and members of our family reference group have been working with the team behind the latest adaption of the Dario Fo political satire, Accidental Death of an Anarchist which is on in London’s West End at Theatre Royal Haymarket this summer.

Writer Tom Basden and director Daniel Raggett have brought the classic play up to date, with a focus on the Metropolitan Police. Underneath the comedy, they highlight the dark truths which were as relevant in 1970s Italy as they are in present day London.

Learn more and book here.

Other news

Are you in Edinburgh for the Fringe this summer? Come and see Woodhill, a dance and physical theatre performance shining a light on three deaths at HMP Woodhill and their families’ on-going search for answers.

Follow INQUEST’s Instagram to stay up to date with our work and what we’re up to!

Family section

INQUEST recently recruited three family members to the Board of Trustees, and 

5 new family members to the Family Reference Group .  We will be updating our website with our Family Reference Group members soon.  

The Family Reference Group had their first meeting of the renewed group this month and would like to ask families to take part in a very short survey to help them to assess how families feel about INQUEST and what needs or ideas you have – please complete this form.

Earlier in the year families were invited to submit squares to our collaborative fabric project to commemorate INQUEST’s 40th Anniversary and their loved ones. During the last few months, we have been running events for families to learn different techniques and come together and share their progress.

We now have 44 squares, commemorating 25 loved ones that are currently being sewn together by CraftA into a banner. We’ll keep you updated on the progress!

Connection Cafes  

  • Morning - Second Wednesday of every month (10:30am-12pm) Next session 8th Aug 
  • Evening – Fourth Wednesday of every month (6:30pm-8pm) - Next session 26th July 
  • To register for reminders and joining details please fill in this form. 

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