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  Local MP and siege family to meet with Kent police

Lorraine Whiting was shot dead by her estranged husband, Leonard Carter, during an armed siege in 1995 (photo ©BBC)
Mrs Whiting (left) was shot by her
estranged husband, Leonard Carter
(right) during an armed siege in 1995

SOUTH NORFOLK MP Richard Bacon is to meet with Kent Police Authority to discuss the case of a family who could lose their home as a result of a failed attempt to sue the force over the death of their mother.

Kent police are now seeking more than £90,000 in legal costs from Catherine Elvin,

a 35-year old mother of two from Winfarthing, near Diss, who brought the action after her mother, Mrs Lorraine Whiting of Sittingbourne, Kent, was fatally wounded by her estranged husband, Leonard Carter, during an armed siege in 1995.

Mr Carter shot Mrs Whiting in the legs and then shot himself dead. However, police refused to allow paramedics to enter the house for over an hour, despite Mrs Whiting’s dialling 999 to report that Mr Carter was dead. After 61 minutes pleading with emergency services, Mrs Whiting bled to death.

Mr Bacon said: "I recognise that the police have a duty to minimise the burden on Kent's council taxpayers, but I do wonder how many Kent council taxpayers, in possession of the full facts of this case, would want the police to proceed? I feel very strongly that the Elvin family have already suffered enough".

Kent Constabulary originally estimated their legal costs as £25,000, but after one and a half days in court, this had escalated to £78,000. An offer by the Elvins to settle the case was ignored and the total amount outstanding including interest is now over £92,000.

Mr Bacon added: "I am hopeful that this meeting will allow us to reach a fair and just resolution of this terrible situation, which has dragged on for far too long. I will be calling upon Kent Police Authority to do all it can to help the Elvin family bring an end to this terrible chapter in their lives".

8 September 2005

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