Manchester Public Inquiry Statement following the conclusion of the oral evidence hearings

London, 15 March 2022 - Today marks the end of the Manchester Arena Inquiry’s hearings. Following the conclusion of the hearings, the Hogan Lovells legal team commented on behalf of the families: 

“It has been an incredibly important but difficult process for the six bereaved families that we have the privilege of representing: 

  • The parents of Chloe Rutherford (17) and the mother of Liam Curry (19)
  • The mother of Courtney Boyle (19)
  • The daughters of Jane Tweddle (51)
  • The husband of Michelle Kiss (45)
  • The father and step-mother of Olivia Campbell-Hardy (15).

“The hearings into the deaths of the 22 victims began on 7 September 2020, and have involved evidence from 267 lay witnesses and 24 expert witnesses, over 196 days of evidence hearings. The chapters of evidence included the safety and security at the Arena, the emergency response to the attack, the radicalisation of the bomber, Salman Abedi, and what could have been done to prevent this attack and ensure lessons are learnt, so that future attacks are less likely or may even be prevented. The Inquiry also served as the inquest process for all those who lost their lives in the attack, and our clients are grateful to have been able to speak about their loved ones in the ways they would want them to be remembered. 

“Sadly, what has become clear to our clients throughout the Inquiry is that more must be done to ensure that public agencies are working collaboratively at all stages of investigations into Subjects of Interest in order to identify the ways in which radicalised individuals pose potential dangers to society.  The evidence has shown that intelligence about Abedi was received in the months prior to the attack, but was not “fully appreciated” at the time. There will be important findings to be made about how the intelligence community aggregates information and effectively understands the risks posed in time to avert such tragedies.  

“The vital evidence examining the emergency response to the attack has clearly shown that more must be done to ensure that public agencies are working collaboratively together seeking to save life and help those injured in such an appalling attack. It has also clearly shown that there is a crucial care gap between a tragedy like the one that occurred at the Manchester Arena happening, and medical treatment being provided, with first aid staff at venues not necessarily able to provide sufficient medical care in the immediate aftermath. 

“This doesn’t appear to be something which the general public are aware of and poses a clear ongoing risk to any large event or crowded space that could be the subject of a future attack. It is also clearly very important that any first aid provider is properly monitored, complies with necessary standards and has enough trained staff on duty – this was sadly not the case on the night of 22 May 2017.  

“We wish to thank the Chair, Sir John Saunders, and the Inquiry Legal Team for the rigorous and thorough way in which the evidence has been approached and tested.  Our clients eagerly await the publication of the next two Volumes of the Chair’s report due later this year, which will include recommendations in respect of the emergency response, radicalisation and preventability. We trust that the Chair will examine the issues within scope of these two Volumes with the same care and consideration as has been shown to date.

“A huge thank you to our incredible counsel team at 6KBW – Duncan Atkinson QC, Victoria Ailes and Adam Payter - who have handled this inquiry process with incredible expertise and compassion.”

The Hogan Lovells core team working on this significant and important matter includes Victor Fornasier, partner, Scott Baxter, senior associate, Helen Boniface, senior associate, and Haylea Campbell, associate. 

 
 


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