JP McManus’s son in legal bid to keep wife’s toxicology report private

Emma (40), wife of John McManus, died in Barbados over Christmas period

A toxicology report on the body of Emma McManus, the daughter-in-law of billionaire JP McManus who died in Barbados over the Christmas holidays, has been received by a coroner on the Caribbean island.

However, the document was not read into evidence yesterday as attorneys for her husband, John McManus, stepped up their fight to keep the matter away from the press.

The 40-year-old mother of three children under nine was found dead on the morning of December 30th last year by her husband at their residence in Sandy Lane.

An autopsy done by an independent coroner, at the McManus legal team’s request, said Ms McManus’ death was due to asphyxia as a result of choking on food.

Local attorneys Satcha Kissoon and Maya Carrington filed an urgent application on John McManus's behalf, urging the high court to impose an interim injunction staying the proceedings of the coroner's court.

The attorneys are claiming the coroner showed bias in his dealings with John McManus and that he wrongly refused him the right to have an attorney during the proceedings.

Injunction not granted

The attorneys also want the contents of the toxicology report and the autopsy kept out of the public’s eye.

However, judge Shona Griffith, who heard the application, did not grant the attorneys their injunction. She said she wanted the case finished by the end of March.

As a result, the coroner’s inquest was adjourned when it came up for hearing yesterday. Coroner magistrate Graveney Bannister apologised that the proceedings would not be able to go ahead.

“The proceedings will be adjourned until a further date due to an application being brought by the family McManus in the afternoon yesterday,” he said.

“We are awaiting direction from the [civil] court with regards to the application that was made, so we will await that,” he said.

Neither Mr McManus nor his attorney turned up yesterday.

During the first public hearing of the inquest in January, John McManus denied that he had phoned the coroner’s court and admitted that he had taken “a little cocaine”.

Rejecting the charges at the time, John McManus said: “I will stand here in this courtroom and happily take a test for it and prove that I am right and what you are saying is wrong,” McManus reportedly testified.