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Toby Woods hearing delayed again

AN INQUEST into the death of tragic tot Toby Woods was sensationally adjourned this week … for the seventh time.

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AN INQUEST into the death of tragic tot Toby Woods was sensationally adjourned this week … for the seventh time.

The two-week jury hearing, scheduled to start at Clitheroe Town Hall on Monday, would have finally put an end to the five-year nightmare for Toby's parents, Donna Hanson and Robert Woods.

But just days before proceedings were finally due to start, the shock announcement was made that the inquest had been shelved - and an alternative date had not yet been set.

A coroner's office spokesman said the delay was because Donna Hanson was ill, but it was not known when she would be well enough to take the stand.

Three-month-old Toby died in September 1999 - less than a year after the death of his 10-month-old brother Ashley.

A probe into the boys' deaths was launched and Donna Hanson was arrested in January 2000. But after a long-running investigation, police announced last August that they would not prosecute her.

Since December 1999, the inquest into Toby's death has been repeatedly adjourned. But last summer the date was finally set for next week.

Hyndburn MP Greg Pope said it was a shame to see proceedings halted yet again. "It's very disappointing," he said. "We all hope this matter can be resolved as soon as possible."

Detective Inspector Jim Elston said: "The decision to adjourn has been made by the coroner and I am quite sure the family are as eager as anyone to have the inquest commenced."