Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Friend's Fight for Inquest Goes on; 'All We Have Ever Wanted Is Truth'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Friend's Fight for Inquest Goes on; 'All We Have Ever Wanted Is Truth'

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Warburton

A NORTH woman yesterday vowed to keep fighting for a fresh inquest that she hopes could unlock her friend's true cause of death.

Gladys Scriven, from Newcastle, died in 2002 at the age of 89, after she was admitted to North Manchester General Hospital suffering from a broken hip.

An inquest found she had died of natural causes, but this week her friend Lilian Rayne, 50, a volunteer legal adviser from Axwell Terrace in Swalwell, Gateshead, failed in a High Court bid for a fresh inquest.

The mother-of-one has tirelessly campaigned for a second inquest for more than five years, claiming that Mrs Scriven was a victim of neglect and eventually died of the MRSA superbug.

Miss Rayne, who is executor of Mrs Scriven's estate, also claims the post-mortem examination was never conducted and the medical notes were from an examination carried out on an entirely different body. The row has meant that Mrs Scriven's body has been locked in a mortuary refrigerator for six years.

Miss Rayne yesterday said: "All we have ever wanted is the truth. We do not want money, we just want the truth about her treatment.

"The only way we will ever get that is through a proper inquest and a proper post-mortem.

Gladys was such a gentle, caring person, and for her to be treated in this way is wrong. When she was very ill and I went to see her, she said: 'Don't let them get away with this'."

The two women became friends after meeting through Mrs Scriven's son Geoffrey in 1985. He has also been at the centre of the campaign to learn the truth of how his mother died.

Yesterday Miss Rayne recalled the moment she discovered her friend had passed away.

She said: "I travelled from Newcastle to see her on the morning and when we arrived, they told us she had died. All we want is another inquest. …

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