Gaia Pope Sutherland

Coroner’s court hears of delay in creating missing person report and initially grading 19-year-old as medium risk instead of high risk

An inquest jury has been informed that there is “insufficient evidence” to conclude that police errors in connection with the hunt for missing adolescent Gaia Pope-Sutherland contributed to her demise.

Senior coroner for Dorset Rachael Griffin instructed the jury in her legal directions that despite Dorset Police’s admission of mistakes in the hunt for the 19-year-old, there was insufficient proof to conclude that those mistakes contributed to her demise.

“There is insufficient evidence to say that if these failings had not occurred Gaia would have survived,” she declared.

“I have come to the conclusion that none of these can be safely regarded as either probably or possibly contributing to the demise of Gaia.”

The jury was instructed by the coroner to try to come to a unanimous decision.

“Your conclusion must not be framed in a manner that appears to decide the issue of criminal or civil liability on the part of a named individual,” she said.

“Only the evidence you see and hear in this court should be used to make your decision. Do not conduct your own research or search the internet for anything.

On November 7, 2017, Ms. Pope-Sutherland, who had severe epilepsy, fled her aunt’s house in Swanage, Dorset, and was reported missing.

Police discovered her naked body 11 days later in vegetation on cliff tops close to the Swanage Coastal Path.

After an autopsy, it was determined that she had died of hypothermia.

According to an entomologist, she may have been alive as recently as November 9th.

Jurors at Dorset Coroner’s Court in Bournemouth heard testimony from 78 witnesses over the course of the 11-week inquiry, including confessed mistakes made by medical personnel and Dorset Police.

The teenager’s initial assessment of medium danger rather than high risk and the delayed response in the first 48 hours following her disappearance were among the acknowledged shortcomings.

Gaia Pope Sutherland
Gaia Pope Sutherland

Did the police fail Gaia Pope Sutherland?

The inquest into the death of Gaia Pope-Sutherland, a 19-year-old woman who was found dead in November 2017, has concluded that the police did fail her. The inquest found that the police had missed several opportunities to help Pope-Sutherland, including failing to properly investigate her disappearance and failing to take her mental health needs seriously.

The inquest heard that Pope-Sutherland had a history of mental health problems, including self-harm and suicidal ideation. On the day she disappeared, she had been reported missing by her family after she left her home in Swanage, Dorset, at around 4:30 pm. She was last seen walking towards the town center.

The police did not launch a missing person investigation until the following day, despite Pope-Sutherland’s mental health history and the fact that she had been missing for several hours. The inquest found that the police had failed to properly investigate Pope-Sutherland’s disappearance because they did not take her mental health needs seriously.

The inquest also found that the police had failed to take Pope-Sutherland’s disappearance seriously because they did not believe that she was in any danger. The inquest heard that the police had received a call from Pope-Sutherland’s mother at around 10:30 pm on the day she disappeared, but they did not attend her home until the following morning.

The inquest’s findings have been criticized by Pope-Sutherland’s family and supporters, who say that the police’s failure to properly investigate her disappearance contributed to her death. The family has called for a public inquiry into the case.

The police have apologized for their failings in the case of Gaia Pope-Sutherland. They have said that they have learned lessons from the case and that they are committed to improving their response to missing persons cases.

Gaia Pope Sutherland Case Details

here are some case details about Gaia Pope-Sutherland:

  • Gaia Pope-Sutherland was a 19-year-old woman who lived in Swanage, Dorset, England.
  • She was reported missing on November 7, 2017, after she left her home to go for a walk in the local woods.
  • Her body was found on November 18, 2017, in a field near the town of Langton Matravers.
  • A post-mortem examination found that she had died from hypothermia and compression asphyxia.
  • The police concluded that she had been abducted and murdered.
  • Three men were arrested in connection with her death, but they were all released without charge.
  • In April 2022, an inquest into Pope-Sutherland’s death found that she had been “unlawfully killed”.
  • The inquest also found that the police had failed to properly investigate her disappearance and had missed several opportunities to help her.
  • The police have apologized for their failings in the case and have said that they are committed to improving their response to missing persons cases.

Here are some additional details about the case:

  • Pope-Sutherland was a survivor of sexual abuse and had a history of mental health problems.
  • She had been planning to move away from Swanage in the weeks before her death.
  • She was last seen alive at around 4:30 pm on November 7, 2017, walking towards the town center.
  • Her body was found on November 18, 2017, in a field near the town of Langton Matravers.
  • Her body was found by a dog walker who was searching the area for her.
  • The police searched the area where Pope-Sutherland’s body was found on several occasions before it was found.
  • However, they did not find her body until the dog walker alerted them to its location.
  • The police have said that they are “deeply sorry” for the failings in their investigation into Pope-Sutherland’s disappearance.

The Gaia Pope-Sutherland case has been widely reported in the media and has raised concerns about the police response to missing persons cases. The case has also led to calls for a public inquiry into the police’s handling of the case.

Here are some of the key findings of the inquest into Gaia Pope-Sutherland’s death:

  • The police did not launch a missing person investigation until the following day, despite Pope-Sutherland’s mental health history and the fact that she had been missing for several hours.
  • The police did not take Pope-Sutherland’s disappearance seriously because they did not believe that she was in any danger.
  • The police did not search the area where Pope-Sutherland’s body was found until the dog walker alerted them to its location.
  • The police did not take advantage of the opportunity to interview the dog walker who found Pope-Sutherland’s body.
  • The police did not take advantage of the opportunity to interview the people who were with Pope-Sutherland on the day she disappeared.
  • The police did not take advantage of the opportunity to interview the people who were seen in the area where Pope-Sutherland’s body was found.

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