David Hughes, Melissa Jones and Cat Jones instructed in Christopher Kapessa inquest

January 23 2024

The coroner hearing the inquest into the death of Christopher Kapessa has returned a narrative conclusion.

The coroner found that Christopher, who died in 2019 aged 13, was pushed into the Cynon river as a prank, with no malicious intent. He also found that a number of Christopher’s friends, including the boy said to have pushed him, jumped into the river to try to save him, risking their own lives. He quoted a girl who tried to save him as saying that the boy could have done no more to try to save Christopher. He commented that the children who tried to rescue Christopher acted very courageously, risking their own lives.

The coroner held that there was no evidence that Christopher’s death resulted from a racially motivated act, and observed that it was to his family’s credit that the contrary had not been suggested at the inquest.

The inquest considered issues around the law on unlawful killing and horseplay, the engagement of Article 2, and the making of reports to prevent future deaths pursuant to Regulation 28.

The inquest commenced on 8 January 2024 and concluded on 22 January 2024. Evidence has been heard from approximately 40 witnesses in order to establish how Christopher’s death came about.

David Hughes and Cat Jones appeared for the boy said to have pushed Christopher, instructed by Abhinav Mohundru of CJCH, and Melissa Jones appeared for Rhondda Cynon Taf.

The inquest has attracted national media attention, including from the BBC, the Guardian, the Independent, Sky News and the Wales Online.

For more information: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-68053021