Coroner to rule on whether to resume inquest into stabbing death of Sunderland shopworker Joan Hoggett

A coroner will decide later this month whether to resume an inquest into the death of a Sunderland shop assistant who was stabbed to death as she worked.

Joan Hoggett suffered 29 knife injuries during a frenzied 50-second attack in the One Stop Shop in Fulwell in September.

Joan Hoggett

Joan Hoggett

Her killer, Ethan Mountain, was made subject to an an indefinite detention order at Newcastle Crown Court in March.

Mountain, 19, of Heaton Gardens, South Shields, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
He had originally been accused of murder but both prosecution and defence teams accepted he was suffering an abnormality of mind at the time of the killing, which impaired his responsibility for it.

The court heard the attack had led to 'catastrophic' blood loss, which sent the 62-year-old grandmother, from Grindon, into cardiac arrest and resulted in her death.

Prosecutor David Brooke QC told the court it was accepted on both sides that Mountain was a paranoid schizophrenic and 'very ill'.

Police at the murder scene

Police at the murder scene

"This is one of those rare cases that should not proceed any further," he said.

"In the circumstances, notwithstanding this killing, which we all acknowledge was a horrific one, the Crown take the view that the proper course here is not to seek a conviction in respect of count one (murder)."

Trial judge Mr Justice Butcher ordered the jury to deliver a not guilty verdict in respect of the murder charge

Speaking after Mountain was convicted, members of Mrs Hoggett's family thanked police and the community for their support and urged anyone who was struggling with mental health issues to seek help.
Sunderland Senior Coroner Coroner Derek Winter originally opened an inquest shortly after Mrs Hoggett's death, which he adjourned pending the outcome of the criminal case.

Floral tributes

Floral tributes

He told a pre-inquest review at Sunder;and Corner's Court today that he had now received formal notification: "The person responsible for Joan Hoggett's death was made subject to a hospital order and detained," said Mr Winter.

"The inquest was adjourned pending the outcome of these particular proceedings and I have made further inquiries about whether or not I need to resume the inquest as part of my investigation."

He adjourned the inquest to Wednesday, May 15, 'when I expect to receive further observations from interested parties, in particular the families, in relation to the decision that I make on whether or not to resume the inquest.'

If a full hearing did take place, it would be held on a date to be fixed, said Mr Winter, 'but for today's purposes, it is adjourned the 15th of May at 10am.'

Ethan Mountain

Ethan Mountain