Marcus Coates-Walker represents the family in an inquest into the death of Sam Pounsberry

28th September 2021

Marcus Coates-Walker was instructed by Royds Withy King to represent the family in an inquest into the death of a woman who ended her life while detained as an inpatient on a mental health ward in Devon. The Coroner heard from over 30 witnesses across 7 days of evidence, and it was concluded that there were numerous failings in her care.

The jury found that the staff at Moorland View Hospital did not appreciate the risk that Sam Pounsberry posed to herself of self-harm or suicide and did not put in place adequate measures to control these risks. There were “failures to follow policies and procedures in place regarding risk assessments, observations and patient care plan throughout Sam’s admission”. In addition, they found that there was a “failure of senior management to monitor and oversee staff adequately”, there was “inadequate staff training” and “erratic and inconsistent recording of Sam’s observations and observation levels and a lack of accountability regarding changes made”.

View media 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. Read more here.