IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
Case Number: CO/3590/2011
The Queen (on the application of John Allman)
HM Coroner for West Sussex
Oral application for permission to apply for judicial review
of the coroner's decision that the applicant is not a
Properly Interest Person in the inquest
touching the death of Darrim Daoud
SKELETON ARGUMENT OF THE APPLICANT
1. The applicant appears as a litigant in person. This skeleton argument has been prepared by the applicant in person.
2. The written application for permission to apply for judicial review was rejected on the eve of a planned inquest. That inquest, herein referred to as “the first inquest”, was held. The applicant attended, and was called as a witness, but, despite being under oath to tell “the whole truth”, was unable to give certain of his testimony, because the coroner controlled the content of his testimony using her control of the questions she asked, and the applicant was not accorded the privilege of framing questions to himself, or other witnesses for that matter.
3. Depending on which if either remedy the court grants to the applicant, there may need to be a fresh inquest. The coroner proceeded with the first inquest, indicating that she appreciated this, but that it was a risk she was prepared to take.
Documents to be referenced
4. Except where otherwise stated, any document to which the applicant may wish to refer and from which he may wish to quote, the learned judge therefore having a copy of that document before him, is a document that shall already have originated with, or been sent to or served upon the respondent coroner in plenty of time before the hearing of the oral application. Collectively I will refer to these documents, plus this skeleton argument, as “the bundle”. The documents of the bundle are all attached to the same email to the dedicated skeleton argument email address for the Administrative Court.
5. The first exception to para 2 above, is that the applicant will wish to refer briefly to text that the deceased posted on You Tube the day before his death, in the context of his uploading the video that the coroner ensured that the first inquest jury watched, giving them the opportunity to read that text, which referred to the deceased's lack of sleep during the week before his death. The video and the text were evidence that the coroner introduced at the first inquest.
6. The second exception to para 2 above, is the inclusion in the bundle of an image of one of the websites he edits, KILLED.org.uk.
7. The applicant has mislaid a letter sent to him by the respondent coroner in late 2009 or early 2010, acknowledging (as he recalls) his “interest” in the matter, which misled him into believing that he had already been accorded Properly Interested Person status. He wishes to refer to this missing letter. He hopes that, on receipt of this skeleton argument, the coroner will furnish a copy from her files.
8. There may be other documents to which the applicant may refer in passing and generically during his oral application, but from which he will not quote, and for which it would not assist for the judge to have copies. Such other documents consist mainly of the large number of emails and other such correspondence between the deceased and others, which the applicant provided to British Transport Police and/or the coroner at their express or implied request long before the first hearing. Any documents referred to in passing without quoting from them ought also to be in the possession of the respondent since before the date of the first inquest.
9. The documents that make up the bundle are as follows:
SkelArg.pdf = this skeleton argument
CoronerLetter.pdf = a letter from the applicant to the coroner dated 3 December 2009
JohnWitnessStatement.pdf = witness statement of the applicant dated 10 January 2011, supplied to the coroner prior to the pre-inquest review, and which the applicant expected would be handed to the jury at the first inquest, as his evidence-in-chief
AmandaWitnessStatement.rtf = draft witness statement of Amanda Palmer dated 15 February 2011, supplied to the coroner as she directed; Ms Palmer was told that her testimony was not required at the first inquest; she was given permission to attend, but was unable to make the necessary arrangements at less than a day's notice, following the unexpected rejection of the applicant's written application for permission to apply for judicial review
PreInquestHearingMinutesRuling.pdf, containing the written decision of the coroner of which judicial review is sought
FACTS.rtf = section 8 of the written application for permission to apply for judicial review
GROUNDS.rtf = section 5 of the written application for permission to apply for judicial review
RefusalJRdarrim.pdf = the order refusing permission to apply for judicial review, the day before the first inquest
Darrim86b.pdf = renewal application
SecurityServicesAllegation.pdf = copy of email correspondence including the deceased's allegation that he was being “stalked”, “tortured” and “blackmailed”, and that he believed that the perpetrators were “the security services – either MI5 or some black ops organisation”, and showing that this information was supplied to the coroner
killed.pdf = the image of the home page of the website KILLED.org.uk, served by email on the respondent in a copy of the email to the Administrative Court's dedicated skeleton arguments email address.
10. The applicant will claim the facts set out in the document FACTS.rtf in the bundle. None of these facts are, to the applicant's knowledge, in dispute between the applicant and the respondent, except for the facts claimed by the applicant in paragraphs 7 and 13 of the document FACTS.rtf.
11. The learned judge will appreciate that at the time the applicant drafted this statement of facts for his written application now renewed orally, namely FACTS.rtf, he was not privy to the information that emerged at the first inquest. The applicant would therefore wish to be allowed to comment briefly on his initial statement of facts, in the light of what took place at the first inquest.
12. The coroner invited Properly Interested Persons to put questions to witnesses. It is a fact that the applicant had questions that he wished to put to witnesses, but was unable to put them. The questions are questions that the applicant is confident that the deceased would have wished him to ask. He respectfully submits that it is eminently possible that the verdict of the first inquest might have been different if those questions had been asked, and that press coverage of the first inquest might have been more befitting for the deceased's good reputation after his death.
Caselaw to be cited
13. The applicant wishes to draw the attention of the judge to the criminal convictions of Hatice Can and Kemi Ajose, in order to remind the judge of the principle that a deceased's actions being the immediate cause of his or her own death, and his or her death also amounting to his or her unlawful killing by another person or persons, are not mutually exclusive or contradictory possibilities at law. In the case cited, both sets of facts were found: the two findings of fact coexisted. The applicant has not yet obtained a copy of the trial judge's summing up to the the jury in that case, but hopes to be able to provide one to the court and the respondent before the hearing of his oral application. Failing this, he wishes to remind the judge of the case by mentioning press reports of some of the key facts.
14. At the first inquest, the sitting deputy assistant coroner indulged the applicant, allowing him to make an application to her in the absence of the jury at the start of the second day, seeking permission to give further evidence about the known capabilities of electromagnetic weapons that might have assisted the jury to interpret the deceased's own evidence posted onto You Tube roughly a day before he was killed.
15. Before rejecting that application, the sitting deputy assistant coroner declined to allow the applicant to make further representations as to directions she should put to the jury. The main direction that the applicant was not allowed to request, was the legal principle applied in R -v- Hatice Can and Kemi Ajose, mentioned in the previous paragraph of this skeleton argument. The applicant believes that the omission of any direction to the jury concerning the principle in Can, by way of comment upon any evidence the applicant gave about the capabilities of directed energy weapons, rendered the first inquest verdict unsafe, as regards the UK's compliance with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, in the light of the deceased's own allegations in SecurityServiceAllegation.pdf, on You Tube, and in various correspondence and conversations of his before he got killed.
16. In support of his contention that there exists such a thing as what he called an “Article 2 inquest”, as distinct from a mere “Rule 36 inquest”, and that the deceased is entitled to the the former in the light of his allegations, the applicant may wish to refer to either or both of the following two cases, and to provide copies of the judgments if he is able to obtain them in time, with the limited resources available to a litigant in person:
a) R (on the application of Takoushis) v HM Coroner for Inner North London & Others  EWCA Civ 1440
b) R v HM Coroner for the Western District of Somerset & Another, ex parte Middleton (FC)  UKHL 10
17. From Regina -v- Coroner for Southern District of Greater London, ex Parte Driscoll  159 JPR 45, a case which the respondent cited in her reasons for the decision of which judicial review is now sought, the applicant would like to draw attention to the following key sentence in a precis of the full judgment published by swarb.co.uk at http://www.swarb.co.uk/lisc/Cornr19931993.php :
“The test was whether an applicant's desire to participate went beyond the wish to give relevant evidence and extended to a genuine concern regarding the scope of the inquest with an associated need to put views to witnesses.”
The applicant believes that he meets that criterion in abundance and par excellence.
18. The applicant has been unable to find a copy of the full Driscoll judgment on the internet, including the passages to which the coroner referred, about candidates for class (h) PIP status under S. 20 (2) of the Coroners Rules 1984 having to have a relationship with the deceased that is analogous to one of the relationships in classes (a) thru (g). He will continue trying to obtain a copy. He hopes for the assistance of the respondent in obtaining one, since it was the respondent who first cited the case.
19. The applicant does not seek to reference the Al Fayed case cited by the respondent.
20. The applicant will primarly expound and expand upon the reasons already set out, in GROUNDS.rtf, and in Darrim86b.pdf (q.v. both).
21. The applicant will contend that it is admitted by the respondent that he has taken a sincere interest in the inquest from the outset, an interest that he was requested to take by none other than the deceased himself. It would be perverse, and certainly detrimental to the public reputation of the UK courts, to declare that such a serious and well-founded interest was improper. Therefore, giving the words “Properly Interested Person” their ordinary meaning (as the respondent coroner conceded that they should be given in her paragraph 18) the applicant cannot be anything other than a Properly Interested Person.
22. The applicant would draw attention to his restraint in not attempting to turn this case into a cause celebre using the KILLED.org.uk website that has been kept, to date, thoroughly low-key and uncontroversial. Rather he has dealt with this dispute as an individual to date (rather than as rabble-rouser, as he might have done), in a dignified manner, as one who expects justice without needing to raise a following willing to demonstrate noisily outside this or the coroner's court.
23. Yet others who correspond with the applicant would be apt to describe the first inquest, at which the applicant was not a PIP, as a stage-managed cover-up of the extra-judicial capital punishment of a part-Iraqi political dissident. The applicant will assert that there is a wider public than just himself that is interested in the deceased's death. It is therefore arguable that it is in the public interest for justice to be seen to be done, by allowing a jury at least to consider – and perhaps to reject, although that is not a foregone conclusion - the evidence for the “conspiracy theory” (as some might call it) of the deceased, the applicant and countless others.
24. The applicant contends that the possible grounds for judicial review that even he himself has been able to list, a mere litigant in person, might render judicial review possible and necessary.
25. The applicant contends that even these grounds are far from being so weak as to render it safe, in matter touching the death of a dissident political activist with a following in his lifetime who alleged persecution by the state, for the court to reject today his application for permission to apply for judicial review at a later date, if possible, represented by counsel when that substantive application for judicial review is made.
26. The applicant therefore renews orally his application for permission to apply for judicial review.