Pre-Inquest News

Cousins, including Benjamin Zephaniah (right)Mikey Powell family win important milestone battle

Mikey’s cousins including Benjamin Zephaniah (right)
originally published: 9th July 2009

Last Friday, 2 July, the family of Mikey Powell came a step closer to finding out exactly how Mikey died. The High Court in London ordered that Northants police allow them access to 4000 documents relating to the police investigation into Mikey’s death.

Claris Powell, Mikey’s mother, had brought judicial review proceedings against the Coroner Aiden Cotter and the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police. She did so because the Coroner had refused to read these documents himself or ask Northants Police to let her lawyers see them, declaring the documents irrelevant.

Northants Police refused to allow inspection unless the Coroner asked for it.

On June 9 a High Court Judge, Mr CMG Ockleton, agreed with Claris Powell that it was arguable that the Coroner had “no proper basis for his conclusion that none of the material that he has not seen ought to be available at the inquest”.

He gave permission for a full hearing to go ahead on 1 July. After lawyers for Claris Powell put their argument and on hearing the Judge’s comments, Northants conceded the claim.

Claris Powell’s lawyers are due to start reading the documents next week. The Inquest is due to start on 4 November. It had been adjourned from March because of the family’s legal challenge of the failure of the Coroner and Northants Police to provide access to the documents.

Tippa Napthali, Mikey Powell’s cousin said: “We were delighted about the outcome of the judicial review. Such deaths in custody frequently fade from public interest whilst the grief and anguish of affected families can continue for many years”.

“We have only ever wanted answers to the many questions as yet unanswered, and hope that this development will mark an important stage in our continued quest”.

Report in the Birmingham Mail >