Family of Lenny McCourt who died in police custody to speak at Government conference

Lenny McCourt
Lenny McCourt

source: Sunderland Echo
published: 30 January 2020

Dad-of-two Lenny McCourt died after falling ill following his arrest, having been sprayed with an incapacitant, handcuffed, and transported in the back of a police van from his home in Ash Crescent, Seaham, to cells in Peterlee.

An inquest into his death was told the 44-year-old most likely died after suffering heart failure, yet it took five minutes after arriving at Peterlee to remove his cuffs and efforts started to revive him – and Coroner Andrew Tweddle ruled officers failed to provide adequate first aid.

At that hearing, his sister-in-law Tracey McCourt represented the family, after they were told they were not entitled to any legal support in the wake of Lenny’s death in September 2010.

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Sharing the burden of the global refugee crisis

Refugee in Hoodiesource: Brookings
published: 27 January 2020

From December 16-18, 2019, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) organized the first Global Refugee Forum. The by-invitation event had two objectives: to serve as a platform to announce financial and other support, including opportunities for refugee resettlement; and to exchange good practices on refugee livelihoods, infrastructure, and protection.

According to UNHCR head Filippo Grandi, “The purpose of this meeting … is not just to talk but to rally international support for countries hosting refugees in a spirit and with the objective of sharing the burden more equitably.”

The Forum came exactly a year after the U.N. General Assembly affirmed the Global Compact on Refugees.

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Families face shocking injustice over legal aid for inquests, campaigners say

Legal signing paperssource: Express & Star
published: 1 October 2019

Grieving families are facing a “shocking” injustice when trying to get legal aid funding for the inquest of a loved one who died in state care, campaigners claims.

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.

Charities have called for an end to the disparity between the amount of publicly funded legal aid being provided to state bodies and families.

It comes as figures suggest mental health trusts, police forces and the prison service are spending millions of pounds on legal representation at inquests, in comparison to the thousands of pounds the Legal Aid Agency has given to bereaved families for such hearings over a similar period of time.

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