Kirsten is a highly experienced inquest advocate, who represents interested persons in a wide range of matters from deaths arising out of road traffic collisions to unlawful killing.
Kirsten is regularly instructed in article 2 inquests on behalf of the state. She is junior counsel to the crown, appointed to the regional B panel. As a result she receives instructions on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, the National Probation Service and the Department of Work and Pensions in the most serious of cases. She has significant experience of representing interested persons where there has been a death in custody and has a detailed understanding of the relevant prison service instructions relevant to emergency responses and the management of prisoners at risk of harm to self, to others and from others.
Kirsten is a specialist in inquests arising out of deaths in custody and she now receives instructions on behalf of prisons and relevant healthcare providers. Kirsten has also been instructed in a number of inquests involving deaths where there has been recent contact with the police, representing individual officers and police forces.
Kirsten is organised and approachable with an excellent understanding of the difficulties that witnesses face giving evidence about their involvement in cases before the Coroner’s Court. Kirsten has undertaken training in respect of questioning of vulnerable witnesses, applicable equally in the Coroner’s Court as in the Crown Court. Kirsten is confident handling expert witnesses and is used to doing so in both an inquisitorial and adversarial setting.
Kirsten has recently represented a defendant in a fraud matter linked to the death of a baby in a cot, where the co-accused initially facing a charge of gross negligence manslaughter, pleaded guilty to health and safety offences arising out of the design and manufacture of the cot.
Kirsten has been Government Legal Department panel counsel since 2012 and was appointed to the B panel of the specialist regulatory advocates in 2019.
- Inquest into the death of MGN – death of a detainee in police custody where the deceased died of epilepsy. The jury returned a narrative conclusion. The inquest explored issues surrounding risk assessments in custody, training of police staff, the adequacy of medical assessments and whether the welfare checks conducted complied with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. Representing an individual detention officer. (November 2019)
- Inquest into the death of SW – death of a prisoner as a result of hanging. The jury returned a conclusion of suicide. The inquest explored issues about the management of the ACCT (assessment care in custody and teamwork) on which the deceased’s risk of harm to himself was being monitored and his discharge from mental health services. Representing the prison. (October 2019)
- Inquest into the death of CM – death of a prisoner as a result of an accident where there had been a long delay in the ambulance attending the deceased and where a falls risk assessment had not been completed on a man with a history of falls. Representing the prison. (May 2019)
- Inquest into the death of AA – death of an 11 year old in a road traffic collision, involving three vehicles, following the acquittal of one of the drivers of causing death by dangerous driving. Representing the insurers of one of the drivers. (May 2019)
- Inquest into the death of MG – death of a prisoner from natural causes, where there were questions whether there had been missed opportunities to treat him in the hospital or to take him back to hospital when his condition deteriorated. Representing the prison. (April 2019)
- Inquest into the death of LB – death of a young woman, with a history of epilepsy, who died whilst in the process of appealing a decision made by the DWP regarding her entitlement to benefits. Representing the DWP. (March 2019)
- Inquest into the death of SH – death of a prisoner from misadventure, 5 days before he was due to be released. The scope of the inquest included the input and assessments completed by the mental health team and his movements to different parts of the prison as well as the management of the ACCT process. Representing the prison. (March 2019)
- Inquest into the death of SH – death of a serving police from suicide, following multiple contacts with mental health services. Representing the police service. (December 2018)
- Inquest into the death of JP – death of a prisoner from suicide. The scope of the inquest included considered a missed roll call by an officer support grade. Representing the prison. (October 2018)
- Inquest into the death of DS – death of a prisoner from misadventure, following the passing of a package of drugs to the deceased by a visitor. Representing the prison (October 2018)
- Inquest into the death of AW – death a prisoner in hospital as a result of an accident, having suffered from respiratory problems. Representing the prison. (May 2018)
Recent regulatory cases
- R v CW and JB – representing the second defendant in a case arising out of the design and manufacture of a cot, in which a baby died.
Kirsten will be speaking at the following seminars:
Kirsten presented seminars on developments in Coronial Law and Article 2 inquests in May and July 2019. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like Kirsten to present these seminars in-house or provide bespoke training on any other matter relating to inquests.