Public inquiry ordered into Shipman murders

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The Independent Online

Relatives of the victims of serial killer GP Harold Shipman today won their High Court battle for an open inquiry into how their loved ones died.

Relatives of the victims of serial killer GP Harold Shipman today won their High Court battle for an open inquiry into how their loved ones died.

More than 100 relatives, backed by the media, wanted orders forcing Health Secretary Alan Milburn to hold a public investigation "to restore faith and confidence in GPs and the NHS".

Today's ruling was delayed so that many would have time to travel to the Royal Courts of Justice in central London to hear the court's decision.

Earlier this year Shipman, 54, of Mottram in Longendale, Greater Manchester, was convicted at Preston Crown Court of murdering 15 patients at Hyde, Cheshire, but he is suspected of killing nearly 200.

Judy Lang, whose late mother Margaret Waldron was a patient of Shipman, said: "We are absolutely delighted. It is a positive outcome, a positive step forward.

"It is the beginning - we just hope that it carries on in our favour. It's the outcome that we wanted, that was expected, but you never know.

"Such a lot has been against us.

"The truth can come out - there are no stones to crawl under." Today Lord Justice Kennedy, sitting at the High Court in London with Mr Justice Jackson, ruled the decision to sit in private "contravenes Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights in that it constitutes unjustified governmental interference with the reception of information that others wish or may be willing to impart".