Looe Landslide Inquest: Neighbours had warned Council of landslide death risk 'for years'

An inquest into the death of Susan Norman who died after a landslide in Looe has heard that Cornwall Council ignored “consistent and frustrated complaints” from neighbours about the risk of of a fatal accident.

Despite the warnings the jury has found that Susan faced “a real and immediate risk of death” and that the Council knew about it.

Susan died when a landslide demolished her flat in Looe in 2013 after 72 hours of torrential rain.

A post-mortem report read out Truro Magistrates’ Court said Mrs Norman died immediately.

Susan’s flat in Looe after the landslide in 2003

Speaking on behalf of Cornwall Council and CORMAC, Kate Kennally, Cornwall Council’s Chief Executive, said:

“Before commenting on the verdict of the jury I would like, on behalf of Cornwall Council, to apologise to Mrs Norman’s family and friends and express our sincere condolences for their loss.

“Having heard the evidence and findings of the jury we recognise that there are a number of matters which require the attention of the Council and its staff. Clearly, given the amount of comment, the Council and CORMAC now need to consider the details carefully.

“Our priority has been, and continues to be, the safety of the public and both the Council and CORMAC will give careful thought to the conclusions and matters that have been raised.

“However you will appreciate that, as court proceedings have already been lodged against the Council and CORMAC, it would not be appropriate to comment in more detail about what has been said today. When conclusions of this type are made in such tragic circumstances it is important for the Council and CORMAC to carefully study the implications before responding further”.