Inquest into St Leonards hospice fire deaths to reopen

An inquest into the deaths of three people following a hospice fire in St Leonards will be reopened this morning (November 18).

Jill Moon, 62, David Denness, 81, and Pearl Spencer, 78, died after the blaze at St Michael’s Hospice on July 11, 2015.

Three people died as a result of the fire in 2015

Three people died as a result of the fire in 2015

Rodney Smith, a patient at the hospice was charged with arson but died in jail, aged 67, before his trial.

In March 2018, the hospice was fined £250,000 after pleading guilty to two breaches in fire safety laws.

The breaches were of Articles 8(1)(a) and 8(1)(b) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. These charges relate to the hospice’s overall failure to take general fire precautions to ensure the safety of its employees and non-employees. The hospice pleaded not guilty to 11 other breaches.

The inquests were initially suspended pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings against St Michael’s Hospice.