Tuesday, 3 May 2011

"It's Ok to speculate if the helmet would have made a difference, but maybe on the driving ..."

I received a reply from the coroner. I still don't believe that it was at all appropriate for the coroner to comment on this, since he appears to have no actual knowledge of the basic data around cycle helmets ...

Dear Mr Lennon

I refer to your e mail of 27th April with regard to this Inquest that I concluded at Windsor Guildhall on Thursday, 14th April last.

I note the contents of your e mail and would respond as follows:

1. You do not identify your interest in this matter nor whether you are “a properly interested person” within the definition of the Coroners Act. I would be grateful for clarification.

2. It is apparent from your comments that you were not present at the Inquest but rather appear to be relying on the press report of the Inquest. As you will appreciate, this does not cover all the elements of the evidence that was heard in the course of the Inquest Hearing itself.

3. In my summing up at the conclusion of the evidence, I simply stated that Mr Honour may have had a greater chance of survival if he had been wearing a helmet rather than not wearing one at all. The principle injuries leading to his death arose from the blow to the head. I do not believe it unreasonable to comment that a helmet would have afforded more protection than nothing at all.

4. As regards the evidence about the actions of the drivers, this was investigated thoroughly, first by Thames Valley Police and secondly in the course of the evidence at the Inquest. The fact that the press chose not to report on this is a separate issue.

5. I would also advise that an Inquest is an inquiry to establish the facts as to “how” somebody met their death. It is an inquiry not a trial and I am specifically excluded from returning a conclusion that addresses issues of fault or liability.

I trust that the above clarifies the position.

Yours sincerely

Peter J. Bedford

H.M. Coroner for Berkshire

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