Family call for second E.coli inquest

The family of a five-year-old boy who died after eating E.coli-infected meat in school have made a plea for a second inquest into his death. 

Mason Jones, of Deri in Wales, fell ill during an E.coli outbreak in 2005 after eating contaminated meat supplied by John Tudor and Son of Bridgend.

William John Tudor was jailed for a year in 2007 after admitting six counts of placing unsafe food on the market and one of failing to protect food against the risk of contamination. The inquest heard how he lied to the authorities about his practices and falsified records.

Meat seized from the operation was found to contain an identical E.coli O157 strain as the one that killed Mason. The same strain was found at a Welsh farm, where the meat originated, and an abattoir where Tudor bought the meat.

However, the Cardiff Civil Justice Centre heard that the Crown Prosecution Service admitted to Mason’s family that they were “wrong” not to press manslaughter charges against Tudor and they now wanted the original inquest verdict quashed and a second inquest heard.

Recording his verdict at the original inquest in 2010, coroner David Bowen said: “I have agonised over a verdict of unlawful killing, but despite substantial – some might say horrific – breaches of food hygiene regulations, the evidence is not strong enough.

“There is little doubt Mason was owed a duty of care and a catalogue of failures to observe basic food hygiene breached that duty.

“But it is not enough for there to be a breach of the duty of care, however extensive and reprehensible that may be.”

A decision on a second inquest will be handed down at a later date.

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