Ben Teague inquest: An apology

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Statement from the Northampton Chronicle & Echo

At the inquest touching the death of Annabelle Lovelle the report from toxicologist Paul Smith stated that at post mortem Mr Teague was found to have 80mg of alcohol/100 ml of blood and 93.5mg of cannabis/100ml of blood (Northampton Chronicle and Echo, March 8, 2023)Following the inquest of Miss Lovelle, concerns were raised about the alcohol and cannabis level found at post mortem. The coroner has informed us that Dr Smith provided addendum reports and in fact gave evidence via Zoom at the inquest touching the death of Ben Teague to apologise if he had misled the court. He gave evidence to the effect that given the period of 7 days between death and post mortem sample collection and possible disruption to the body of the deceased in the road traffic collision, it is …”possible that the ethanol measured in the post mortem blood, urine and vitreous samples has resulted from post mortem changes in whole or in part.”As regards the cannabis, Dr Smith at Ben Teague’s inquest, stated that although the post mortem concentration may not accurately reflect the ante mortem level at the time of the road traffic collision, the presence of a high level of THC in post mortem blood does indicate that the deceased had used cannabis in the hours prior to the accident.As a result, we confirm that our reporting of Ben Teague’s inquest was erroneous in that we did not accurately report the new evidence given by Dr Paul Smith.It also follows that our reporting on the coroner's Regulation 28 Report was also inaccurate as we referred to the evidence given at Annabelle Lovelle’s inquest rather than that corrected by Dr Smith at the inquest of Ben Teague.We apologise to Ben Teague's family for any distress caused.

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