Claire Watson appointed as Counsel to the Inquests into the deaths of a mother and son in Blackpool
29th November 2021
Claire appeared as Counsel to the Inquests in joint inquests into the death of a son and his mother, Marshall Metcalfe and Jane Ireland, who died one month apart. Both suffered from psychosis and had been under the care of mental health services. Mr Metcalfe died when he fell from the first level of a multi-storey car park in Blackpool. He was 17 years of age. His mother died at her home exactly one month later following an overdose of non-prescribed methadone. The inquest considered the care and support provided to Ms Ireland and Mr Metcalfe by mental health services and social care. Claire led the questioning of witnesses on behalf of Mr Alan Wilson, Senior Coroner for Blackpool and Fylde, during which shortcomings in the care provided were identified. The Coroner returned a short form conclusion of suicide in respect of Mr Metcalfe’s death and a narrative conclusion was returned in respect of his mother, Ms Ireland. The Coroner indicated that a report to prevent future deaths would be sent to Gillian Keegan MP, Minister for Care and Mental Health due to concerns revealed during the inquest regarding the loss of social care input when patients are admitted to inpatient mental health units.
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