High Court orders new inquest into Home Office role in Windrush citizen Dexter Bristol's death

Monday 28 January 2019

Una Morris represented Sentina D’Artanyan-Bristol, instructed by Irène Nembhard of Birnberg Peirce.

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The original inquest into the death of Dexter Bristol concluded after his family walked out of the hearing in response to the coroner refusing to make the Home Office an interested person and refusing to explore the impact of the government’s hostile environment policies on the stress experienced by Mr Bristol. He had ruled that Mr Bristol had died of natural causes after collapsing and suffering from heart failure.

After challenging the ruling, Una Morris and Adam Straw, acting for the Claimant, secured a High Court ruling quashing the initial inquest’s conclusion and ordering a second inquest be held, the date of which is still to be confirmed.

Mr Bristol, who died in March 2018 aged only 58, had in the period leading up to his death experienced the impact of the government’s hostile environment policies and had to go to considerable lengths to try to prove how long he had been in the UK and his right to be here, whilst experiencing difficulties in being able to work without proof of his right to do so and was worried about the loss of his benefits. He was eight when he moved from Grenada to the UK in 1968 to join his mother, who was working as an NHS nurse and spent the rest of his life in the UK.

The case has been reported widely including by Guardian and Independent.

Una Morris is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests and Inquiries team.

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