George Julian’s work originated from the Justice for Laughing Boy campaign, following the tragic death of 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk in an NHS care unit. Connor, who had epilepsy and autism, drowned after having a seizure in the bath; his death was initially put down to “natural causes”.
After helping set up a campaign for justice with Connor’s mum, Sara Ryan, George (who has a PhD in profound and multiple learning disabilities) went on to live tweet Connor’s inquest in October 2015, shining a light on a process that traditionally garnered little attention.
George has since live tweeted two further inquests, into the deaths of Danny Tozer and Richard Handley, and now has a group of crowdsourced supporters helping to fund her open justice work, which also involves supporting families in their quest for answers.
I hope that [my work] is preventative, and that people know that if something were to happen there would be scrutinyGeorge Julian
People with a learning disability die, on average, 20 years earlier than the general population.
George says: “I hope that [my work] is preventative, and that people know that if something were to happen there would be scrutiny. Also, by asking these questions and giving it the level of attention it deserves, [my hope is] we will, over time, find more commonalities about what goes wrong.”