Published 7th April 2022

Jury blast failings around death in Lancashire police cell

Kelly Hartigan-Burns died in December 2016 after self-ligaturing in a Blackburn police cell. One officer after another had failed to consider or act upon clear information showing she was a high risk of suicide and treated her with disinterest and disdain.

An inquest jury has recorded an excoriating conclusion listing a series of shocking failures by Lancashire police which they found had caused Kelly’s death. These included the failure to apply PNC markers on previous occasions, to obtain and relay the relevant information, and failures in the management of custody suite. They jury concluded that “if officers had shown more compassion, acted diligently, practiced common sense” there may have been a different outcome.

Carolynn Gallwey and Amy Ooi of Bhatt Murphy represented Kelly’s mother, brother and aunt.

Read INQUEST’s press release here.

Read news coverage from Channel 4, the Guardian, and Lancashire News.

Contact a member of the Bhatt Murphy team today