Chapter

The public inquiry

Ian Butler and Mark Drakeford

in Social work on trial

Published by Policy Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9781847428684
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303565 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428684.003.0004
The public inquiry

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This chapter focuses on the landmark public inquiry that followed Maria Colwell's death. The Kepples' (Pauline Kepple and William Kepple) neighbours expressed anger as well as concern to find out what had happened to Maria. On May 18, 1973, the Member of Parliament for Brighton Kemptown, Andrew Bowden, was ushered into the office of the Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Security, Sir Keith Joseph. This chapter describes both how that meeting came to take place and how the subsequent public inquiry came to be established. As well as being present in the public gallery and in the queues outside on certain days, the ‘public’ were to be ‘represented’ at the Colwell Inquiry through the evidence provided for it by family members and by the Kepples' neighbours on the Whitehawk Estate. The neighbours, in particular, contributed to the construction of one of the most important commentaries on the events surrounding Maria's death. After undergoing trial, William Kepple was convicted of Maria's murder on April 16.

Keywords: Maria Colwell; neighbours; Pauline Kepple; William Kepple; Andrew Bowden; Keith Joseph; public inquiry; Whitehawk Estate; trial; evidence

Chapter.  16186 words. 

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