Inquest date set after Wigan teen’s death following car crash

An inquest will be held later this year looking into the death of a teenager who was injured in a car crash while being chased by police.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 4:29 pm

Leo Gradwell was just 14 when he died in the early hours of October 11, 2019 at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Police officers had tried to stop a suspected stolen blue Fiat 500, which Leo was driving, on Warrington Road in Golborne at 1.25pm the previous day.

A short pursuit developed, before the Fiat crashed into two cars on Ashton Road.

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Tributes were left on Ashton Road in Leo's memory

A pre-inquest review was held at Bolton Coroner’s Court today to prepare for a full hearing into the teenager’s death.

The court heard Leo lived on Walthew Lane in Platt Bridge and was the son of Kirsty Gradwell and forklift truck driver Ryan Robinson.

Ms Gradwell attended the hearing with her representative, legal consultant Gail Hadfield Grainger.

Members of several organisations expected to be involved in the hearing were also in court or attended remotely.

Leo Gradwell

Senior coroner Timothy Brennand said interested person status had been granted to Leo’s family, Greater Manchester Police, the Independent Office for Police Conduct and insurance companies Admiral and Hastings.

Representatives from North West Ambulance Service, Wigan Council’s children’s services department and Wigan Infirmary will consider whether they will request the same status, which would allow them to play an active part in the inquest.

Mr Brennand scheduled the hearing for Monday, October 4 and said it was expected to last for three to five days.

A further pre-inquest review will take place at 3pm on Monday, September 6.

He set out dates for those involved in the case to make various submissions and reporting restrictions were imposed to protect the identities of two boys in the car with Leo.

They were both taken to hospital after the crash for treatment to their injuries.

Leo’s death led to an outpouring of grief from the community, with candles, balloons, flowers and moving messages left at a makeshift shrine on Ashton Road in his memory.

Messages of support were also shared on Facebook, with one friend writing: “To wake up at 4.20 to check my phone for any news and to see Leo’s passed just an hour before was literally the worst pain I could of ever felt.

“Not only did he help me through everything but he was the strongest most kindhearted lad I ever knew, still can’t wrap my head around what’s happened.”

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