Risk to Slain Cameraman Mark Milsome ‘Not Effectively Assessed,’ Finds London Coroner

Naman Ramachandran
·2 min read

The inquest into the accidental death of British cameraman Mark Milsome has concluded with a verdict of accidental death, but the matter is far from over.

Chinyere Inyama, senior coroner at the West London coroner’s court said on Friday: “Mark Milsome died an accidental death. Shortly before the execution of the stunt, the risk of Mr Milsome being harmed or fatally injured was not effectively recognized, assessed, communicated or managed.”

Milsome, 54, was killed in an accident on the Ghana sets of BBC/Netflix series “Black Earth Rising” in 2017.

Evidence was presented during this week’s inquest that stated that a new stunt coordinator was brought in just three weeks before the fatal accident; the speedometer in the vehicle that caused Milsome’s death was not working; and there was no safety briefing before the stunt was executed.

Inyama said he needs further evidence about stunt safety protocols, and would be in touch with several organizations, including the BBC, in this regard.

In an earlier review of the case, the counsel for “Black Earth Rising” producer Forgiving Earth refuted claims that cost-cutting measures in Ghana may have resulted in Milsome’s death.

Before the ruling, Milsome’s widow Andra told the coroner: “No one should ever die for the sake of a shot. Mark’s death certainly should never have happened.”

“We are deeply thankful for the coroner’s comments today, outlining the failures that led to the death of our beloved Mark,” Milsome’s sister, Sarah Harrison, said after the inquest. “We are also grateful for the steps he has taken, which seek to address those failures across the television and film industry.”

After Milsome’s death, the family launched the Mark Milsome Foundation to help emerging filmmaking talent. Stars like Robert De Niro, Dame Judi Dench and Johnny Depp have supported the foundation by wearing its T-shirts.

“Through our work with the Mark Milsome Foundation over the past three years, we have sought to raise awareness of the circumstances leading to Mark’s death, and initiate lasting change in the health and safety practices of the industry,” Harrison added. In the creation of the films and programs we all enjoy, we want to ensure that the safety of the cast and crew remains paramount.”

In a career spanning 30 years, Milsome worked on titles like “Quantum of Solace,” “Game of Thrones,” “Sherlock” and “Downton Abbey.”

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