Joan Hoggett death: Coroner to decide in May whether to resume inquest

A coroner will decide in May whether to resume an inquest into the death of a Sunderland grandmother who was stabbed to death as she worked in a shop.

Joan Hoggett was attacked by teenager Ethan Mountain in the One Stop Shop at Fulwell, Sunderland, in September last year.

Joan Hoggett

Joan Hoggett

The 50-second assault left her with 29 knife injuries which caused damage to her heart, lung, arteries and intestine.

Mountain, 19, of Heaton Gardens, South Shields, who is currently detained in Rampton top security hospital, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at Newcastle Crown Court earlier this month.
He had been on trial for murder but prosecutor David Brooke QC told the court it was accepted on both sides that Mountain was a paranoid schizophrenic and 'very ill': "This is one of those rare cases that should not proceed any further," he said.

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"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."

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

Ethan Mountain

Ethan Mountain

Mountain was made subject to a hospital order without limit of time on Friday, when the judge told him: "Your killing of her was a truly terrible event."
Sunderland senior coroner Derek Winter opened and adjourned an inquest shortly after Mrs Hoggett's death, and a pre-inquest review hearing was held at Sunderland Coroner's Court this morning.

Mr Winter said he had adjourned the initial hearing pending the outcome of the Crown Court case.

"I have now received information from the Crown Court at Newcastle that the defendant involved in the criminal proceedings was made subject to a hospital order and would be detained as a consequence of a conviction for manslaughter," he said.

He now had to decide whether the hearing should be resumed in full.

Floral tributes outside the shop where Joan Hoggett was working

Floral tributes outside the shop where Joan Hoggett was working

"I am awaiting further information in relation to the defendant's mental health history to make that decision," he said.

Mr Winter adjourned the case to be resumed at the court at 11am on Thursday, May 2.

Joan Hoggett's family outside Newcastle Crown Court

Joan Hoggett's family outside Newcastle Crown Court