Still unable to make much meaningful sense of LB’s inquest but moments are surfacing. A few here. Again in no order. Toilet moments. The toilets were back from the courtroom, through the cafe towards the exit. A block of three cubicles for women. Despite strategically timed efforts (roughly aiming for the middle of break times) I always seemed to collide with a jury or Sloven staff member. So blinking awkward.There was only one woman advocate across the other seven legal teams so this was less of an issue [sigh]. I kind of went for a ‘make do and definitely don’t mend’ approach with jury members. This involved eyes firmly on the floor and the usual ‘thank you’ type acknowledgements around holding doors firmly parked.
The kids were upset and angry by the various interactional exchanges that occurred in the courtroom. Smirks, hints of excitement and puff and schmuff between various Sloven bods at the front of the courtroom. A ‘screw face’ technique was tried and tested across the two weeks to manage this.
Rosie also stepped up and explained what it was like to experience this behaviour to a senior Sloven staff member. Love her. Hopefully this has been passed to the Sloven senior team/board and will be incorporated into their inquest policy/engagement. Our and other families’ experiences suggest an over emphasis on staff coaching rather than any thought to what it must be like for family/friends in this setting.
Moments involving Dr M, the consultant psychiatrist, and her barrister, AJ, are sadly hard to forget. For so many reasons. Not least the efforts AJ made to work to a script seemingly derived from the various Disney/Pixar films LB both loved and got so upset about. Depicting me, ‘The mother’ [with extended dramatic pause], as a Cruella de vil type character. Skinning puppies for fur coats.
At one point Paul Bowen, QC, asked Dr M who was the best person to know what LB meant when he said something. This generated avoidance strategies reminiscent of childhood banter hanging out in the car outside pubs with my sisters. Coke, crisps and bickering/discussion with a backdrop of the Grease soundtrack. Dr M, not a child, prevaricated and twisted a knife that should have been removed over two years ago.
That is a very general question. It depends what being said and when it is being said, I cannot ask that question. It would have to be more specific.
[Howl]. There was worse to come. Almost luckily via video link as I’m not sure what I would have done if she was present after this exchange.
Mr F: You heard Winnie Betsva admit that she had failed Connor, SR and the family, is there any matter relating to failures from your part?
Dr M: It was an act of tragedy. In hindsight, we could have made some different decisions but with the information we had at the time and balancing of pros and cons we made right decision at the time.
Mr F: I asked ‘you’ not we.
Dr M: I made the decision at the time with others weighing information we had at the time and no, I don’t believe there was a failure of care from my part.
An act of tragedy? No failure? Can you even begin to imagine? And this woman is a practicing psychiatrist in Cork having given up her licence here. The GMC still investigating her conduct… There is too much too wrong here. And our beautiful, funny, loving boy is dead.