Emma Sutton

Call 2006

Overview

Emma was involved in the E-Coli Inquiry which was established to inquire into the circumstances that led to the outbreak of the E-Coli 0157 infection in South Wales in September 2005. More recently, Emma has experience of advising and representing parties in complex Article 2 inquests  (including lengthy jury inquests); particularly in cases where the mental capacity and mental health of the deceased was in question prior to their death, where allegations of neglect are raised, where significant criticism is raised against public authorities regarding their duties to children and vulnerable adults (in inpatient and community settings), and where there is national media interest.

‘A tough negotiator, who is excellent with lay clients [with] an impeccable court manner’

The Legal 500

Emma also undertakes work on a pro bono basis and has completed the ‘25 for 25’ Challenge in 2022 which involved undertaking a significant number of hours of pro bono work through Advocate.
Read more about this here.

CASES AND WORK OF NOTE

2022

Re Dr A: instructed by the Priory in a week long Article 2 ECHR inquest concerning the death of a patient, also a doctor, admitted to hospital for treatment of anorexia nervosa, who was detained under section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983. There were a number of professional witnesses and expert evidence; the latter of which was challenged by the Priory. The coroner agreed with the submissions of the Priory that there was no requirement for a PFD report on the particular facts.

Re SC: instructed by a Trust before the Senior Coroner of Manchester in a 2 week jury Article 2 ECHR inquest concerning the death of a patient who died having ligatured whilst detained under section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983. A finding of neglect was sought by the family, which was opposed by the public bodies. The jury did not find that the deceased’s death was contributed to by neglect.

Re JH: instructed by a Trust before the Deputy Chief Coroner in a week long Article 2 EHCR inquest concerning the death of a shop assistant who was stabbed to death by a young person subject to voluntary mental health support in the community following discharge from detention under the Mental Health Act 1983. This was a particularly sensitive case which involved significant media interest and was widely reported in the national press.

2021

Re NB: instructed by a Trust before the Senior Coroner for North Northumberland and South Northumberland in an Article 2 ECHR inquest concerning the death of an informal patient admitted to a mental health unit. Issues raised on behalf of  family members included non-causative findings being added to the record, a rider/ finding of neglect and the requirement of a PFD report; all of which were opposed by the Trust. The coroner agreed with the position of the Trust.

Re NL: instructed by a Trust before the Senior Coroner of Greater Manchester in an Article 2 ECHR inquest concerning the death of a patient who had a longstanding diagnosis of anorexia nervosa. The inquest was complicated by the number of interested parties and required a clear understanding of the NHS system and the roles/ responsibilities of each public body.

Re X: instructed by the wife of the deceased in an Article 2 ECHR jury inquest concerning his death whilst a prisoner in his cell. The inquest lasted a week and involved the questioning of a number of professionals (health and social care and from within the prison service).

Re Y: instructed by the family in an Article 2 ECHR inquest concerning the death of a Bristol man who died in a house fire. Emma represented the family at a number of PIR’s which included the successful application to the coroner for expert psychiatric evidence to consider whether the deceased had capacity to make decisions regarding his residence and care needs due to mental health problems shortly prior to his death.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Emma is recommended as a leading junior in the Legal 500 for inquest and inquiries work, most recently quoted as being ‘Extremely meticulous, knowledgeable, and a fearless advocate.’