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JOAN HOGGETT INQUEST: Watch as family of Sunderland gran speak as three-and-a-half-year wait is finally over

The family of Sunderland grandmother Joan Hoggett have spoken of their feelings as an inquest into her death is finally concluded.

By Kevin Clark
Friday, 6th May 2022, 5:50 pm

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The 62-year-old died after she was subjected to a savage knife attack by teenager Ethan Mountain while she was at work in the One Stop Shop, in Sea Road, Fulwell, on September 5, 2018.

Sunderland senior coroner Derek Winter opened an inquest shortly after her death but it was adjourned pending the outcome of court proceedings.

Nineteen-year-old Mountain accepted responsibility for her death and was made subject to an an indefinite detention order at Newcastle Crown Court in March 2019.

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Mountain, of Heaton Gardens, South Shields, had originally been accused of Mrs Hoggett’s murder but a judge directed the jury to find him not guilty after both prosecution and defence teams accepted he was suffering an abnormality of mind at the time of the killing, which impaired his responsibility.

The hearing, which had been delayed by the covid pandemic, has been examining the support Mountain received from the Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear NHS Trust between his release from hospital in 2017 and the attack on Mrs Hoggett.

The inquest had been told that the trust had carried out its own internal investigation, had been subject to an independent peer review and was currently under review by specialist Niche on behalf of NHS England.

Robert Young with his partner Lesley Taylor, daughter Michelle Young and niece Gemma Redpath after the inquest

Mrs Hoggett’s son Rob Young welcomed the outcome of the inquest: "It is definitely better than I expecting,” he said.

"The first one went, in my opinion, the wrong way.”

He was not sure what would happen next: “I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet,” he said.

“I have not grieved yet, I don't know whether it might begin now.”

Robert Young with his partner Lesley Taylor, Michelle Young and niece Gemma Redpath

He said no-one would ever know why Ethan Mountain had targeted his mother: “He has still not said why he had done it. Yes, obviously it was a random thing but why her? Why then?

"He walked past hundreds of people that day. I know they’ve said he was having an episode but there must have been something going through his head.

"I think I can say this on behalf of the family, I’d rather it was my mam than some bairn, I know my mam would think that as well.”

Joan’s daugher Michelle Young said she was uncertain where the family would go from here: “Our emotions have been up and down not just this week but for the last few years,” she said.

Michelle Young holds a picture of her mum Joan Hoggett

"I’m a bit scared – we’ve had something to focus on but now it’s also a bit of a relief.

“I need to be able to clear my head and focus I’m at the point where I don’t know what direction to think but I’m happy with the result today.”

Asked about Mountain, she said: “It’s difficult. My response to that would be different tomorrow. He’s a young lad, He could have done more to help himself because he must have been scared.

“Maybe him not communicating was because he’s been scared. Who wants, at that age, to ask for help?”

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