Reporting of Group 4 inquest is banned

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The Independent Online
A CORONER took the unusual step yesterday of forbidding journalists from reporting evidence given at an inquest into the death of a remand prisoner who was in the care of Group 4, the security company, writes Malcolm Pithers.

Peter Gladwyn, the North Humberside coroner, stopped the reporting of evidence halfway through the first day's hearing of the inquest into the death of Ernest Hogg, 38, from Dundee.

He collapsed in a Group 4 security van last May and died four days later in hospital.

The inquest, which is expected to last for three weeks, will hear details of a report into the privatised courts security and escort service run by Group 4. The report has been carried out by Commander Alex Marnoch, a former Scotland Yard officer.

Mr Hogg had been on remand at The Wolds prison on North Humberside, which is run by Group 4, and died after being taken to Hull Royal Infirmary under escort.

Yesterday Dr Gladwyn told the hearing in Beverley that he had been approached by a leading counsel who was engaged in a lengthy trial at Doncaster Crown Court.

He added: 'Both he and I and the judge are most anxious that the trial should not be prejudiced by anything that is reported of the evidence given at this inquest.

'So, under Section 4 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, I am . . ordering the media not to publicise the evidence given at this inquest until 10am tomorrow morning when I shall have an opportunity to hear from counsel.'