Jeroen Ensink, disasters that have changed Britain and why it’s time for our legal system to change as well

It is nothing short of disgraceful that the widow of an academic stabbed to death by a man suffering from psychosis has been denied legal aid for an inquest into the killing.
Jeroen Ensink, 41, was killed outside his home in December 2015 by student Femi Nandap, 23, days after knife charges against Nandap were dropped.
An inquest into police, prosecutor and mental health authorities’ actions leading up the killing will take place later this year, having originally been scheduled to take place in November 2017.
Dr Ensink was stabbed as he left his north London home to post cards announcing the birth of the couple’s daughter, Fleur, 11 days earlier.
Nandap, of Woolwich, south-east London, was in a cannabis-induced psychotic rage when he stabbed Dr Ensink repeatedly in the chest and back until an off duty special constable intervened.
The Nigerian student, who came to Britain to take an African studies and economic development course, was given an indefinite hospital order for the killing.
He had been charged in May 2015 with possession of a 30-inch knife and assault of a police officer after he punched and bit an officer who was trying to arrest him.
The charges were later dropped because of insufficient evidence.
Mrs Ensink-Teich has been denied legal aid although both CPS and police are legally represented, the police by a QC.
This is clearly unfair and is simply not a level playing field.
I have previously raised this matter generally with the Justice Secretary and received a reply saying that Inquests “are specifically designed so that people without legal knowledge can participate in and understand the proceedings, without the need for legal representation”.
This is nonsense.  Just look at how many Inquests are now being reopened as the families uncover the truth for themselves.  Proper legal representation first time round would avoid this.
I act in a number of military Inquests, where the MoD will have their solicitors plus a QC and a junior barrister, yet there is no funding available for families.  If there is no need for legal representation why does the establishment roll out a team of legal bit hitters?
I am currently watching a TV programme – Disasters That Changed Britain – examining the most devastating disasters to befall Britain in the past 60 years, asking why warning signs were often ignored and looking at the changes that were made in their wake.  Starting with the Ladbroke Grove rail crash of 1999, where the track operator was eventually fined for repeatedly ignoring a faulty signal, and including Piper Alpha (1988), the King’s Cross Fire (1987) and the Grenfell Tower Tragedy (2017) this is frustrating, uncomfortable viewing., here relatives had to fight the might of legal representatives of huge corporations putting profit before safety.
Today, Mrs Ensink-Teich finds herself in exactly the same situation – let down by a legal system failing bereaved families.  I would be happy to look at her case on a Pro Bono basis.
Hilary Meredith