Marcus Coates-Walker appears in 3-day inquest into asthma attack death of a former police officer following 999 software delay

18th December 2018

Marcus Coates-Walker was recently instructed by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors to appear at a 3-day inquest into the death of a former police officer who died from an asthma attack after facing delays in an ambulance being sent to his home. Stephen Thurman-Newell repeatedly pleaded “help me” and told 999 call handlers that he was struggling for breath and did not want to die. Despite that, available ambulance resource was not dispatched for 17 minutes. By the time the first paramedic arrived at the 62-year-old’s property, 36 minutes had passed since Stephen had initially dialled for help. Resuscitation was attempted but he was sadly pronounced dead approximately 30 minutes later.

The Coroner gave a narrative conclusion and has now requested details of how ambulance trusts across the country triage asthma attacks. The Coroner may recommend that all trusts should adopt a system which triages these incidents as the highest possible emergency.

This inquest attracted media attention, read more here.

Marcus has experience of a broad range of inquest work arising in the context of both personal injury and clinical negligence. He has appeared at Article 2 and jury inquests with multiple lay and expert witnesses. His experience of inquests includes cases involving deaths in hospital, psychiatric institutions and police custody. He is happy to take instructions from all Interested Persons, including bereaved families, NHS Trusts or Health Boards, Local Councils, prison services, police forces or other state institutions.

View profile: Marcus Coates-Walker