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Kevin Clarke inquest: Custody loss of life man stated ‘I am unable to breathe’


picture copyrightInquest
picture captionKevin Clarke was handcuffed twice when he collapsed

A person who died in police custody advised officers “I am unable to breathe” as they restrained him, an inquest has heard.

Kevin Clarke, a 35-year-old who had paranoid schizophrenia, advised officers “I will die” as he was put into two units of handcuffs.

Southwark Crown Courtroom heard he was “ignored” after which misplaced consciousness as he was taken to an ambulance.

He had been dwelling on the Jigsaw Venture, a residential assist service, up till his loss of life on 9 March 2018.

The court docket heard he had been seen by officers earlier that day however was not sectioned regardless of considerations from workers at Jigsaw.

The police had been referred to as later and Mr Clarke was discovered mendacity on the bottom on the sting of a college enjoying area.

‘Going to die’

PC Lee Pidgeon advised the inquest Mr Clarke had begun to get “a bit fidgety” and the usage of handcuffs to restrain him was applicable as he was exhibiting indicators of acute behavioural dysfunction (ABD).

“This was uncommon behaviour and it was apparent to me [Mr Clarke] wants pressing medical consideration,” he stated.

“It steered to me that maybe he was getting a bit unnerved. Perhaps he is beginning to get a second wind.

“If he had received to his ft with elevated energy there was a risk that one among us may have been damage or he may have run off.”

Officers positioned Mr Clarke in two units of handcuffs on account of his dimension and within the footage he may very well be heard groaning, saying “I am unable to breathe” and “I will die”.

picture copyrightHousehold handout
picture captionMr Clarke was identified with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 17

PC Pidgeon stated he had not heard what Mr Clarke stated on the time however admitted that within the footage his speech “appears fairly clear [and] understandable”.

When requested by coroner Andrew Harris why Mr Clarke was “ignored” by the officers there, the officer stated: “I can not reply that, sir, I do not know.”

He added his precedence was to get Mr Clarke to the ambulance as quickly as attainable as he was in want of “pressing medical consideration” as he had collapsed.

“I feel the place that Mr Clarke was in – if we took his cuffs off, we’re losing useful time,” he stated.

‘Final resort’

However Leslie Thomas, household counsel, stated it was “blatantly obvious” Mr Clarke was having problem respiratory and the pressure used was “fully disproportionate”.

Mr Thomas additionally highlighted a number of elements that will have put Mr Clarke at a heightened threat of asphyxia similar to his weight, physique place and the stress of the state of affairs.

He stated Mr Clarke demonstrated no indicators of aggression that warranted restraint, including it ought to have been a “final resort”.

Referencing the video footage, he stated when a feminine officer took Mr Clarke’s hand, as quickly as she stated “you are hurting me” he let go.

“I feel we will all agree that at no stage earlier than you laid fingers on him had he been aggressive,” he stated.

PC Pidgeon stated he believed restraint was “essential and secure” for Mr Clarke on the time and he had adopted appropriate police coaching procedures.

He stated the incident had prompted him to mirror and that he would now “suppose twice” about handcuffing somebody with psychological well being points.

He added: “I do give it some thought to this present day.

“I did not set out that day to have somebody die on me. I genuinely really feel unhealthy for everybody concerned.”

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