Gwen Henshaw recently represented the family of David James Lees who was unlawfully killed after a night out with friends on 28 October 2006. The only criminal prosecution in the case to date has been for perverting the course of justice. The individual who owned the vehicle that was used to kill David James Lees was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for fabricating receipts purporting to show that he had sold it on the day David died.
Since the inquest ended on 27 June 2011, the case has been given significant local and national media coverage, with the Coroner appearing on Granada Reports to condemn his lack of powers in dealing with what he called the “collective amnesia” of the group that fought with David’s friends in the moments before he was killed. He stated that in maintaining their silence they had “brought shame on their community”. The case highlighted a number of inadequacies in the coronial system.
However, the resulting verdict of unlawful killing and the Coroner’s condemnation of those involved was the best outcome for David’s family who have vowed to continue to fight for the person responsible for his death to be brought to justice. The inquest process allowed them to move forward in their campaign and provided many answers to questions. Gwen Henshaw was instrumental in that process.