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Family call for fresh inquest into death of business analyst who fell to his death

Richard Chang and son Jeffrey Richard Chang and son Jeffrey

Thursday, January 17, 2013
7:00 AM

The family of a 48-year-old business analyst who plunged to his death in Euston has called for a fresh inquest into his death after months of scandal at St Pancras Coroner’s Court.

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Dr Freddy Patel was struck offDr Freddy Patel was struck off

Richard Chang fell from the fifth floor of Abbey National’s Triton Square offices in July 2004.

The coroner, Dr Andrew Reid, recorded a verdict of “suicide” after a post mortem by pathologist Dr Freddy Patel gave the cause of death as “consistent with a fall from height”.

The family has never accepted the official findings and is now redoubling its efforts to have the case reheard after Dr Reid was suspended then resigned from office last month and Dr Patel was struck off the medical register.

Mr Chang’s younger sister, Jacqueline Chang, said: “Obviously when someone dies the way my brother did and we raise those questions, everyone thinks we are making it up.

Former Coroner Dr Andrew ReidFormer Coroner Dr Andrew Reid

“When the pathologist got sacked you think, ‘Hang on a minute that’s what we have been saying all along’. And when the coroner departs as well…

“I didn’t want to still be looking into this eight years down the road, but it is in the interest of justice and we cannot get closure until these things get done properly.”

Dr Patel was struck off the medical register last year after the General Medical Council (GMC) found he had botched the post mortems of G20 protestor Ian Tomlinson and the first victim of the serial killer Anthony Hardy, the “Camden Ripper”.

A spokeswoman for the GMC could not say if it was now reviewing the post mortem which concluded that Mr Chang died from “multiple injuries”.

Dr Reid stepped down from his post as coroner for Inner North London last month following an investigation after he wrongly appointed his wife Suzanne Greenaway as deputy coroner.

Ms Greenaway, who had been assistant deputy coroner since 2009, oversaw around 12 Camden inquests including that of troubled singer Amy Winehouse, which has since been re-heard.

Mrs Chang’s solicitors have written to the Attorney General asking for a fresh inquest.

The 49-year-old, from Birmingham, has set up a pressure group, Fatal Campaign UK, to unite families who feel their loved ones’ inquests have not been carried out correctly.

Mrs Chang’s father was investigating his only son’s death until the day he died in 2010.

She said: “He [my father] was disabled towards the end and preoccupied with Richard’s death. He wanted to find out what happened to him.”

Dr Shirley Radcliffe was appointed interim coroner for Inner North London. She said: “There are no legal grounds for the case to be re-heard.”

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