Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Inquest into girl who fell from her pony is adjourned

Hannah Jessica Wiley
Hannah Jessica Wiley

The Northern Ireland Coroner has adjourned an inquest into the death of a young girl killed in a horse riding incident.

Coroner Jim Kitson made the decision to allow further investigations, including seeking expert opinion from the British Horse Association.

Hannah Wiley was just 13 years of age when she fell from her pony while taking part in a gymkhana at Eglinton Equestrian Centre last August.

Yesterday her grief-stricken parents Edmund and Ethna sat in silence for over an hour while Mr Kitson consulted with legal representatives of the family in chambers at the Coroner's Court in Londonderry.

Mrs Wiley clutched her daughter's riding helmet and gently stroked the velvet material, stopping only to wipe away the tears that silently fell from her cheeks.

A number of witnesses were also present, including representatives from the Deputy State Pathologist for Northern Ireland, Dr Alistair Bentley, and a member of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

Eventually Mr Kitson returned to the courtroom where he offered his condolences to Mr and Mrs Wiley and explained that having consulted with the solicitors of the family, he had decided to adjourn the inquest.

He told the court that in the months since their daughter had died, Hannah's parents had grown concerned about some aspects of the circumstances which led to her death.

Having listened to these concerns, Mr Kitson added that he, too, felt further investigations may help to give peace of mind to the parents. He said it was also important to wider society, given that people take part in gymkhanas every day.

The coroner said: "I would like further inquiries carried out so I intend to adjourn the inquest today so that further investigations can take place.

"These will include obtaining expert advice from the British Horse Association and will also mean that some of the people who have already made statements will have to be visited again and additional statements taken."

Hannah was an only daughter, and a sister to Aaron.

She was devoted to her two horses, Jobber and Blue, and was riding Jobber when tragedy struck last August.

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