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Upminster deaths inquest: Expert view needed on whether social services did enough to avoid 'tragedy'

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:07 15 October 2019

The inquest into the deaths of Vera and John Savage resumed at Walthamstow Coroner's Court on Monday. Picture: Goole Streetview

The inquest into the deaths of Vera and John Savage resumed at Walthamstow Coroner's Court on Monday. Picture: Goole Streetview

Archant

An inquest into the deaths of a vulnerable mother and son has been put on hold as the coroner seeks an independent expert witness.

A conclusion was due to be given at Walthamstow Coroner's Court today on how Vera Savage, 89, and John Savage, 54, came about their deaths after the pair were discovered dead in their bathroom on July 10, 2017.

A multi-agency domestic homicide review was conducted after the deaths as police believe John, Vera's sole carer, killed his mother before killing himself.

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Before proceedings closed today, family friend Darren Carmichael said he believed the review showed a "lack of integration and intercommunication between health and social services... that led to a tragedy."

Coroner Nadia Persaud has determined an independent expert on social care should give evidence on the report, and specifically if the care provided was compliant with policies and procedures.

If the coroner decides there is evidence of significant failings that breached the pair's right to life under Article 2 of the Human Rights Act, it could compel a fresh inquiry.

No date has yet been set for the final hearing.

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