Inquest into 2018 death of inmate continues

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By Latrishka Thomas

The Coroner’s Inquest probing the death of Cordayro Joseph, an inmate who was discovered lifeless five years ago in Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP), continued in the High Court yesterday.

The demise of Joseph on September 24, 2018, triggered a mandatory inquest, although its commencement was delayed.

At the time of his death, Joseph, 27, was serving a 35-year jail sentence for the murder of Coldrick Lewis on Father’s Day, June 19, 2011, at Clary’s Bar on Fort Road.

Joseph’s body was found hanging in his prison cell.

The absence of a prior Coroner’s Inquest before Joseph’s burial raised questions regarding the circumstances surrounding his passing.

The inquest into Joseph’s death, initially initiated a year ago, developed when Wendel Robinson, the attorney representing the deceased’s family, requested the hearing’s annulment. Robinson attributed this request to ongoing legal proceedings in the High Court of Justice.

Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh subsequently dismissed the jury, leading to the transfer of the matter to Magistrate Conliffe Clarke.

The inquest resumed afresh with a new set of jurors in August of this year.

Based on the evidence presented thus far, it appeared that, on the day of his death, Joseph declined to participate in the usual morning showering and airing exercise.

Instead, he remained in his cell, where he was discovered hanging by another inmate who had returned to the cell after showering.

Court-revealed photographs depicted Joseph suspended with a piece of cloth around his neck, alongside a stack of books and bottles near his feet.

In yesterday’s proceedings, two police witnesses, Sergeant Alpheus O’Garro and Denroy Henry, took the stand. O’Garro informed the court of marking the scene and details, such as the arrangement of books and a water cooler near the accused’s feet, as well as the jacket wrapped around his neck.

Henry, the lead investigator, shared his observations upon arriving at the scene and provided insights into his investigative process.

The inquest is scheduled to conclude on December 15, with the testimony of the medical doctor expected to provide additional perspective.

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