Judge tells prosecutors to review case of Julian Webster’s death

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Rajiv Menon QC and Tom Stoate have successfully challenged by judicial review in the Divisional Court, a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to prosecute a doorman who was found by an inquest jury to have caused the death of a young man by restraining him in a 'neck lock' for over eight minutes.

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Julian Webster died in the early hours of 11 April 2009 following an incident at a nightclub in Manchester. After an inquest in May 2012 into Julian's death (in which Rajiv Menon QC represented the Webster family), the jury found that the restraint of Julian - which a police expert had called "highly dangerous" - was a significant factor in causing his death.

In this full hearing of an application for judicial review, the claimant, Julian's mother, had conceded that while his initial restraint was lawful, the evidence available to the CPS about the length and manner of the subsequent neck lock by a member of the club's door staff was unlawful and dangerous, and therefore sufficient to found a manslaughter prosecution of the doorman. The CPS disagreed.

The Divisional Court, however - comprising Elias LJ and Foskett J - allowed this exceptional application, and the decision has been remitted to the CPS for fresh consideration in light of the court's findings that the initial decision was flawed and inadequate.

This case has been covered by the BBC, ITV News and in the Birmingham Mail.

Rajiv Menon QC and Tom Stoate are members of Garden Court's Inquest Team and are currently instructed as counsel to a number of the families in the Hillsborough Inquests.

They were instructed in this application by Errol Robinson of McGraths Solicitors and Sanjeev Sharma of JM Wilson Solicitors, both in Birmingham.


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