News story

No new inquest into the death of Theresa Biggs

Attorney General decides not to provide his authority for an application to be made to the High Court for a new inquest

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC MP
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC MP

After careful consideration, the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox QC MP has decided not to provide his authority for an application to be made to the High Court for a new inquest into the death of Theresa Biggs. Miss Biggs was 6 years old when she died whilst swimming at Caldey Island, Pembrokeshire, on 18 July 1977.

Miss Biggs’ sister submitted an application to the Attorney General for his consent to request a new inquest into the death of Theresa under the Coroners Act 1988. The original inquest was held by Coroner’s Court for Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire in 1977.

An application for a fresh inquest may be made only with the authority of the Attorney General, and he can provide his authority only if he is satisfied there is sufficient admissible evidence that there is a reasonable prospect of the Court being persuaded to order a new inquest.

The Attorney General concluded that none of the grounds of challenge set out in the application had a reasonable prospect of success. As there is no fresh evidence that would likely lead to a different outcome being recorded on the inquisition, he would not be able to provide his authority for the applications to be made to the High Court.

The Attorney General said:

I offer my sincere sympathies to the family of Theresa Biggs for their loss. I have given this considerable thought, but, as disappointing as it will be for them, it would not be right to pass this matter to the High Court when the tests for a new inquest are not met.

Published 11 October 2018