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Bereaved to get legal aid, Judge rules

Legal & Justice2source: The Guardian
published: 20 February 2015

More bereaved families will be entitled to legal aid at inquests after a high court judge ruled that official guidance on whether to provide support was “misleading and inaccurate”.

The ruling by Mr Justice Green enables relatives attending a coroner’s court to benefit from expert legal representation in cases where a state body is involved in a death.

Joanna Letts, 39, from Lambeth in south London, challenged the guidance after she was initially denied payment for representation by the Legal Aid Agency at the inquest into the death of her brother.

Christopher Letts, then 29, killed himself in August 2013 three days after being released from a private clinic to which he had been sent by the South London and Maudsley hospital.

He threw himself under a tube train at Tooting Bec station while mentally ill.

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