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R (on the application of CLAIRE HUMBERSTONE) (Claimant) v LEGAL SERVICES COMMISSION (Defendant) & HM CORONER FOR SOUTH YORKSHIRE (WEST) (Interest Party)

A decision of the Legal Services Commission refusing to recommend that a mother be granted public funding for representation at the inquest into the death of her 10-year-old son was quashed.

27 April 2010

The claimant (H) applied for judicial review of a decision of the defendant Legal Services Commission not to recommend that she be granted public funding for representation at the inquest into the death of her 10-year-old son (D). D suffered from severe asthma. He was supposed to take a steroid inhaler twice a day as chronic therapy and a preventative bronchodilating inhaler as and when required as acute therapy.

It appeared that D was not capable of complying with that treatment plan without supervision, which he did not always receive, and that his asthma was not as well controlled as it might have been, because of a failure to take his chronic medication. D had suffered an asthma attack one evening and a paramedic and ambulance had attended. D was taken to hospital where he died later that evening.

H was later arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence on the basis that she might not have cared for D properly by not supervising his asthma medication. ...

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