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Inquests into the deaths in the Keyham Incidents

20 December 2022

Information for the press and public

The inquest into the deaths in the Keyham Incidents will take place between 17 January 2023 and 23 February 2023.  

The inquests into the deaths of the five victims:  Maxine Davison, Lee and Sophie Martyn, Stephen Washington and Kate Shepherd will commence on 17 January 2023. Jake Davison’s inquest will commence on 20 February 2023.

The Senior Coroner for Plymouth, Mr Ian Arrow, who is an Independent Judicial Officer, will be investigating these deaths in accordance with the Coroners and Justice Act 2009,  assisted by Counsel to the Inquest, Bridget Dolan, KC.

All inquests will be held before a jury and will engage the State’s investigative obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Venues

  • The Inquests will be held at Exeter Racecourse, Kennford, Exeter EX6 7XS.
  • There will be an annex to the Coroner’s Court to view the Inquest proceedings remotely in the Reception Room at the Council House, Armada Way, Plymouth PL1 2AA.  
  • The Racecourse is just off the A38 with ample free car parking and nearby refreshment providers for attendees.
  • Please be aware only food purchased at Exeter Racecourse may be consumed onsite.

Attendance

  • The bereaved families and those directly affected by these incidents who wish to watch the proceedings at the Plymouth venue will be given priority seating in so far as is practicable, and so are invited to notify the Coroners Court on HMCoroner@plymouth.gov.uk by no later than 6 January 2023 if they wish to attend the Plymouth court annex. 
  • There will be some space available at both venues for public and press attendance and the Coroner’s Service will be making reasonable provision for the expected attendance at both venues.  Press who wish to attend the hearings are invited to notify the Coroners Court on HMCoroner@plymouth.gov.uk by no later than 6 January 2023 of their wish to attend, indicating which venue.  Whilst there is no requirement for pre-booking it will assist administration if notice can be given.
  • As far as practicable a designated area in the court room and the court room annex will be allocated for members of the press.
  • As these are in-person hearings with two court-room venues being made available there will only be limited provision for remote links which are to be prioritised for participants (that is interested persons and their legal representatives). There is no current provision for a virtual public gallery.   Any person wishing to make an application under section 85A of the Courts Act 2003, and the Remote Observation and Recording (Courts and Tribunals) Regulations 2022 should do so by no later than 6 January 2023.  All applications must be made in writing to HMCoroner@plymouth.gov.uk and should include the reasons being put forward as to why it would be in the interests of justice for remote access to be granted.

Hearing Schedule

  • A witness list will not be published, however a schedule of topics proposed to be covered each day will be provided in advance of the hearings.
  • At the end of each sitting day the witnesses who will be giving evidence the following day will be announced.
  • The normal court sitting day will be from 10am to 4.30pm with a one hour break at lunchtime from around 1pm.
  • The court will not be sitting on 24 January or 1 February 2023
  • Public Wifi will be available in the Exeter court and the Plymouth court annex

Support Services

  • The Coroner’s Court Support Service and Victim Support will be in attendance daily at Exeter Racecourse who offer confidential, emotional support and practical help to bereaved families, witnesses and others attending an Inquest

Further Enquiries

  • For further enquiries please contact HM Coroner’s office via email HMCoroner@plymouth.gov.uk.
  • For assistance on Inquest days please call 07814 943685 by 9.30 am.