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Coroner’s Inquest into Rock Gutter begins

Coroner’s Inquest into Rock Gutter begins

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The coroner’s inquest into the road traffic incident at Rock Gutter that claimed the lives of seven persons earlier this year began yesterday at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court.

Some of the persons giving testimony yesterday included secondary school students who survived when the minibus ran off the road and {{more}}plunged into the sea on January 12, 2015, near to Owia, on the north eastern coast.

At the start of the day’s proceedings, coroner Rickie Burnett asked the members of the media present in the court room to leave.

The coroner later explained to SEARCHLIGHT that he did so because the persons testifying yesterday were juveniles and he wanted to make them as comfortable as possible, given that they were still grieving. He also said he did not want the evidence given during testimony at the inquest to be published at this stage, in case the matter has to go forward to the High Court for trial.

Burnett also reminded SEARCHLIGHT that in any event, according to Section 25 of the Coroner’s Act, the inquest shall not be deemed an open court, but could be opened at the coroner’s discretion.

The coroner is being assisted in the inquest by five jurors, from which a female foreman was selected. The inquiry will continue every day this week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (AS)

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