The London coroner who bullied the staff and left sensitive documents on the train in the mail

Chinyere Inyama

Chinyere Inyama

A controversial London coroner who bullied staff and left sensitive inquest files on a train has been sacked for misconduct.

The chief justice dismissed Chinyere Inyama, the senior coroner for West London, after an investigation into claims he had misled the Chief Coroner.

Mr Inyama, a qualified solicitor who became coroner in 2013, has been involved in a series of high-profile controversies during his tenure in the post.

In 2014, he left a highly sensitive police file about the murder of schoolgirl Alice Gross on a train.

The 14-year-old was stabbed and murdered by builder Arnis Zalkalns after she walked along a canal towpath in Ealing, west London.

Mr. Inyere was charged with overseeing his investigation, and was later cleared for the way he handled the outcome of the incident in the lost file.

Shortly after, the coroner was angered for holding inquests late into the night, allegedly in an apparent attempt to catch up with a backlog that left family and friends of the deceased waiting for months for inquests.

In 2017, Mr Inyama was back in the firing line for his management of the coroner’s court in Fulham and interactions with staff.

Murdered schoolgirl Alice Gross (PA)

Murdered schoolgirl Alice Gross (PA)

A statement from the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) at the time revealed that Mr Inyama had “bullied a member of the coroner’s team” and had sent inappropriate texts and made statements to a second member of staff.

The senior coroner was reprimanded but kept his £120,000-a-year job.

The series of scandals led to an internal breakdown in the relationship between Mr Inyama and several members of staff, and he spent a long time in the post without active oversight of investigations.

His sacking was announced in a JCIO announcement published this weekend, following a secret misconduct process.

The statement reads: “The Lord Chancellor, with the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice, has removed the Senior Coroner, Mr. Chinyere Inyama, for misconduct.

“Holders of judicial office are required to inform their judicial superiors (in this case the Chief Coroner) of any matters relating to conduct which may affect their position or the reputation and standing of the judiciary.

“The JCIO received information indicating that Mr. Inyama may have misled the Chief Coroner regarding serious allegations regarding his conduct.

“Following an extensive investigation, a disciplinary panel found that he deliberately downplayed the allegations when he told the Chief Coroner’s office about them. Mr. Inyama accepted that he did so.

The disciplinary panel, after considering the mitigation offered by Mr Inyama, found that he must have known that he had a duty to give a full and accurate account of the allegations. By deliberately minimizing its seriousness, he knowingly misled the Chief Coroner. This showed a serious lack of integrity and a profound lack of judgement, which was serious misconduct.”

Despite recent promises to improve transparency in the misconduct process, the JCIO’s notice does not disclose what misconduct process Mr Inyama’s sacking involves, or the nature of the mitigation presented to the panel.

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