June inquest date set for woman shot outside police station in 2003

The inquest into the death of a woman who was shot dead outside a police station in south-east London nearly 20 years ago is set to take place later this year, a coroner has said.

Sabina Rizvi, 25, was killed in the early hours of March 20, 2003 outside Bexleyheath police station.

In 2004, Paul Asbury, then aged 22, was convicted of her murder and the police watchdog went on to produce a report in 2011.

In a pre-inquest hearing at the Old Bailey on Friday, assistant coroner Angela Rafferty KC said Ms Rizvi’s inquest is now listed to start on June 12.

The venue has yet to be confirmed, but she estimated the inquest could take six weeks.

A further pre-inquest review hearing is listed at the Old Bailey on the week starting March 20, but not on that date as it is the anniversary of Ms Rizvi’s death.

Ms Rafferty called it a “workable timetable”, adding: “This inquest has already been delayed, not just by the pandemic but also by lack of disclosure and funding, etc.”

She said there has to be “momentum” to ensure the inquest goes ahead in June.

Counsel for the inquest Cathryn McGahey KC said she was “very conscious” that Ms Ms Rizvi’s family have been “waiting a very long time for this inquest”, stressing they are doing everything possible to make sure it is goes ahead as planned.

Rajiv Menon KC, for Ms Rizvi’s family, said: “Today is literally three years exactly since the family were last in court, and on that occasion they were extremely happy that the court was clearly taking the matters very seriously.”

Reflecting on subsequent delays prior to Friday’s hearing, he added: “They (Ms Rizvi’s family) were getting to a stage where they were just becoming so thoroughly disillusioned with the process.”