Two Sky News journalists will be called as witnesses at an inquest into the death of an alleged internet troll from the Harborough district accused of abusing the parents of missing Madelaine McCann.
A pre-inquest review hearing at Leicester Town Hall this morning (Thursday) was told that no-one is facing any criminal action over the death of Burton Overy woman Brenda Leyland, whose body was found in a hotel room after being ‘outed’ as a Twitter troll in a Sky News report.
Confirming details of a full inquest due to take place next year, Leicester coroner Catherine Mason said she would hear evidence from Sky News’ crime correspondent Martin Brunt and head of newsgathering Jonathan Levy.
Two police officers, a toxicologist and a doctor are also due to give verbal evidence at the one-day hearing, at the town hall, on March 20.
Adjourning the pre-inquest review, Mrs Mason said she would also be presented with written statements from a pathologist and one of Mrs Leyland’s sons at the next hearing.
Sky News was represented by counsel at the hearing.
This morning’s hearing heard that Leicestershire Police officers have now completed their inquiries into the 63-year-old’s death, on Saturday, October 4 this year.
Mrs Mason told Leicester Coroner’s Court: “I understand from my officers that, of all the witnesses who I have said that I will call to give oral evidence, there is nobody to which there is any foreseeability of any criminal action being taken.”
The body of Mrs Leyland was discovered at the Marriott Hotel in Enderby, Leicester, in October, two days after a Sky News report exposing internet “trolling” of Kate and Gerry McCann.
Mrs Leyland was accused by a Sky News investigative report broadcast on Thursday, October 2, of being one of the “trolls” writing abusive messages about the McCanns, whose daughter Madeleine disappeared in Portugal in 2007.
She was confronted outside her Burton Overy home by reporter Mr Brunt as part of Sky News’ investigation into internet abuse against the McCanns.
Mrs Leyland eventually invited the reporter into her home and, according to Sky News, said off-camera that the McCanns ‘had questions to answer’.
Later, she was reported by Burton Overy locals to have disappeared from the village.
Story by Alex Blackwell.