New blow in quest for truth about death

A DAUGHTER has today spoken of her despair that the long awaited inquest into her father's death has been put off for months.

Naomi Cassidy

A DAUGHTER has today spoken of her despair that the long awaited inquest into her father's death has been put off for months.

Michelle Snelling said it could be another four months before she is likely to get any answers as to how and why her father, Ian Snelling, died while in police custody.

In The Evening Star yesterday, on the day of the inquest, she spoke about how the family was desperate to find out what really happened on the night of his death on September 1, 2006,

However the shocking news that the family's barrister suffered a stroke the night before, meant it was adjourned. A date for the next inquest is yet to be set but it is thought it could take months.

Miss Snelling, 21, who lives in Felixstowe, said: “I still wanted it to go ahead. I am gutted we have to wait.

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“It could be December before there is an inquest and that is really scary to think about that.

“It will just drag it out more and it's already hard enough with his anniversary coming up. I just want it to go ahead as soon as possible.”

Mr Snelling, 51, of Manwick Road, Felixstowe, collapsed and died in a cell at the town's police station. Two hours earlier he had been arrested at the VK1 off licence in Undercliff Road West on suspicion of theft.

The case was automatically handed to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) but following an investigation, it was decided no prosecutions would be brought against the officers involved in the incident.

Legal debates lasted all morning at the inquest yesterday until it was eventually concluded that the hearing should be adjourned in fairness to all parties.

Coroner Dr Peter Dean, who called in the jury to explain the reason for the adjournment, said: “Unfortunately I was notified that one of the leading barristers in the case had had a stroke. Our thoughts are with her at this time.

“We had to really see whether we were in a position to actually go ahead with the inquest.

“It has become apparent that one side of interested persons felt that without a barrister here that was properly briefed, it would be impossible to go ahead.

“It is with some regret that we are unable to go ahead with the inquest.”

Once the inquest concludes, the full details of an IPCC report into the circumstances surrounding the death are due to be revealed.

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