Kate Bisset instructed in inquest involving drowning in the River Ouse.

Kate Bisset represented the mother of Steven O’Neill in a 4 day inquest at the Harrogate Pavilions. Steven died in the River Ouse in April 2021, during a two week period in which 5 people died in the river.

Steven entered the river whilst being pursued by Police Officers and Officers were present at both sides of the bank whilst Steven attempted to swim across. The inquest raised serious concerns as to the nature of training given to North Yorkshire Police Officers in respect of rescuing people in water, with many Officers stating they had received no training in respect of this, despite the prominence of the River Ouse in York City Centre.

The Jury returned a verdict of misadventure, but also raised concerns about the training given to Police Officers, causing the Coroner to seek further evidence from North Yorkshire Police in consideration of issuing a prevention of future deaths report.

Legal Aid had been granted exceptionally for Steven’s mother, due to the circumstances of his death and Steven’s family praised Kate’s dedication and support in the course of the difficult inquest.

Kate has extensive experience in representing families and interested parties in inquest and accepts instructions for legally aided as well as private work.

Should you wish to discuss any aspect of Kate’s coronial practice please contact her regulatory clerks Madeleine Gray on 0113 202 8603 or Patrick Urbina 0113 213 250