Coroner clashes with man cleared of three murders - Crime - UK - The Independent

Coroner clashes with man cleared of three murders

Arran Coghlan's account of heavily armed boxer's death is described as 'difficult' to believe

A businessman who has been charged with three murders but convicted of none clashed yesterday with a coroner who said he had "difficulty" accepting his account of the most recent of the deaths.

Arran Coghlan wanted Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg to find that he had lawfully killed Stephen Akinyemi in self-defence when he shot him through the temple at his home in Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

Mr Coghlan, 39, was charged with the 44-year-old's murder last year but was cleared. He had previously been cleared in 1996 of murdering drug dealer Chris Little, and in 2001 of the murder of David Barnshaw, who was burned alive.

The inquest into Mr Akinyemi's death also presented Mr Coghlan with the opportunity to challenge police over their conduct of a case centring on the events of 9 February last year, when Mr Akinyemi, an accomplished boxer, died after a struggle in which he was shot three times with a 9mm Beretta pistol.

Mr Coghlan said he was trying to arbitrate in a dispute between Mr Akinyemi and another associate when Mr Akinyemi produced the pistol and a knife.

Mr Rheinberg challenged him: "What I have difficulty with is how you, the less [physically] accomplished, managed to defend yourself when completely unarmed against a man wielding a gun and ... a knife."

Mr Coghlan replied: "Really? So you think I should have died in the process? That would have made you pleased? Now you want to draw an adverse criticism [of] me because I survived. What else could I have done?"

Mr Rheinberg responded: "If you look from the outside, you would be surprised by your survival." He then told Mr Coghlan that his testimony was finished – but the businessman retorted that he had "not finished".

Mr Coghlan raised evidence that Mr Akinyemi's non-blood DNA was found on one of the four bullet casings recovered from the scene. This suggested he might have handled the ammunition.

He also focused on blood patterns on the knife, which suggested he was stabbed with it before the gun was fired.

"We will deal in this court with proper respect," the coroner replied, ordering Mr Coghlan to resume his seat. He complied only after the coroner's officer politely reiterated the request, saying: "Thank you for saying please. Teach your friend [the coroner] some respect."

Returning an open verdict, Mr Rheinberg concluded: "What happened in Mr Coghlan's house is known only to Mr Coghlan. There is no way of knowing the sequence of events as they occurred, though that's not to say you are not telling the truth, Mr Coghlan."

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week