In Jeffrey Markham v HM Coroner for the Western District of Greater London, the claimant and father of the deceased, (M) applied for judicial review of an inquest into the death of his son (S).
S (aged 21) collapsed in the street and died a matter of hours later. The post mortem disclosed no obvious cause of death and the pathologist’s report did not find that S had suffered from any natural diseases. The coroner ruled that S had died of "unknown natural causes" and the death certificate listed the cause of death as "unascertained." Following the inquest, M arranged for testing of S’s DNA, which revealed that a genetic fault had in fact caused his death. Both M and the coroner tried to have S’s death certificate amended to show the correct cause of death but the General Register Office refused saying that under the provisions of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953, it could not alter the certificate without a fresh inquest.
The court ordered that it was in the interests of justice under the Coroners Act 1988 appropriate to order a fresh inquest to be heard in the light of the new evidence.