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CPS Admit Mistake in E.coli Case

October 7, 2015

e-coli v2The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has admitted that it made a mistake in not pursuing manslaughter charges in the case of five year old Mason Jones, who died from E.coli 0157 poisoning in 2005.

The schoolboy from Deri, Caerphilly County, ate contaminated meat at school during an outbreak that affected over 160 people. The infected meat came from Tudors Butchers of Bridgend, who supplied more than 40 other schools in the South Wales Valleys. At the original inquest in 2010, coroner David Bowen said there was not enough evidence to return a verdict of unlawful killing. An appeal against that decision was held at Cardiff Civil Justice Centre this week.

Mark Powell QC explained the basis for the action. “We say the coroner misdirected the jury and misdirected himself to the nature of the offence because he was influenced by the view the Crown took,” he said. “We don’t say the coroner acted inappropriately but what we are saying is he was wrong and his application of the law produced the wrong result. The fact the coroner was aware that the CPS took a view that effectively meant an unlawful killing verdict was not supported on the evidence, that must have influenced his mind.” The hearing was told that the CPS had apologised to the family for not pressing charges of manslaughter against business owner William John Tudor, who was jailed for a year after being found guilty of food hygiene offences. The result of the appeal is expected later this year.