Dr George Julian is doing groundbreaking work live tweeting inquests and calling for scrutiny into the deaths of people with learning disabilities in care
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.”