Carlisle assault: First inquest held into death of teen victim

Image copyright Carlisle Police Image caption Sophie Lancaster was murdered by an 18-year-old man

An inquest into the death of 19-year-old Hannah Osborne, who died after being assaulted in Carlisle, will be held on Monday.

Greater Carlisle Police have charged Jai Thomas with her murder and his 17-year-old brother with causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

A 60-year-old woman who was injured in the same incident is still in hospital.

Her family says her health will not allow the inquest to take place.

Claire Farrar, a solicitor representing the family, said a doctor had said it would be in Sophie Lancaster’s best interests to attend on Monday.

But she added: “Our client would not be a suitable witness for the trial.

“We understand that in the normal course, if medical advice was not to allow Sophie to attend, the coroner would adjourn the inquest.”

With the police not responding to a request for an interview about the case, it is not clear whether the inquest will be held.

What happened on 5 September?

The first police report came in at 09:30 BST on 5 September 2018 after a woman was found in hospital with a “serious head injury”.

That was the culmination of a seven-hour incident in which a second young woman was also injured and had to be airlifted to hospital.

The incident began at 14:30 BST, when Hannah Osborne was found injured and the officers left her scene, officers said.

They were called back by members of the public who had heard the commotion on Helmsley Road.

Image copyright G C Police Image caption Sara Rowlands, partner of Hannah Osborne, has said police let her daughter down

Ms Osborne was taken to Carlisle Royal Infirmary but died early on the morning of 6 September.

Witnesses described how her boyfriend, a male who is 18 years old, took her to hospital and the brothers, aged 17 and 18, followed.

As staff provided treatment, the men in custody then attacked them before being arrested.

How did it lead to charges?

They have been remanded in custody until the next hearing.

READ MORE: Police charge two teens after assault and violence

In a statement last month, they said that during their arrest they were “treated with violent aggression and prolonged unlawful and excessive use of force”.

It added: “We feel our innocence has been violated and exploited for the sake of a prosecution that is neither fair nor just and in which we are not given the opportunity to defend ourselves.”

But a spokesperson for Northumbria Police said that the brothers had not been subjected to violence during their arrest, saying the force used the “safest available force available”.

They stressed that the force recognises the girls’ injuries were “significant” and therefore acted “proportionately”.

As for the description given by police of the suspects, a force spokesperson said that after meeting a member of the public on the street, officers could recognise Ms Osborne’s partner’s voice from a TV news broadcast.

“They also confirmed that they had earlier witnessed Hannah Osborne’s attack from a doorway,” the spokesperson said.

“They informed police of the name of the offender and in turn a description of the offender was conveyed.”

Her family have previously made clear that she was not a member of the Roma community.

All three victims were reported to be “known to police” and had come to the area from Lancaster in an attempt to run away from their home.

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