Radio Sandwell Local News

Kingsley Burrell death in custody was neglect, rules inquest

2015-05-15 18:11:22

Kadisha Brown-Burrell and Desmond JaddooKingsley Burrell's sister, Kadisha Brown-Burrell and community activist, Desmond Jaddoo

A four-year battle for justice ended in victory as an inquest jury found neglect contributed to the death of Kingsley Burrell.

The 29-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest after being restrained for a prolonged period of time with a towel over his head at the Oleaster Health Unit.

At the conclusion of the five-week inquest it was ruled force used by the police in restraining Kingsley was excessive and contributed to his death.

It also found a covering was placed over the dad’s head as he was transported between A&Eat the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Oleaster Unit on the same site.

That covering remained on his head even after he had been restrained in a seclusion room.

Jurors founds police, paramedics, A&E staff and staff at the mental health unit should all have removed the covering.

Failings were also found in seeking treatment for Kingsley as his condition deteriorated.

Following the damning verdict Kingsley’s family and friends called for those responsible to face criminal charges and for a public inquiry to be carried out.

In a statement they said: “Finally after four years of waiting the circumstances surrounding the untimely death of Kingsley Burrell has been placed in the public domain.

“The conduct of West Midlands Police officers, West Midlands Ambulance Service and the Mental Health Trust are concerning as this is a very serious case of systemic failure by all of those agencies who blatantly failed Kingsley.”

They demanded a public inquiry and called on Police and Crime Commissioner and the chief constable to account for their officers' actions.

They also demanded accountability from West Midlands Ambulance Service and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust.

Kingsley Burrell's sister Kadisha Brown-Burrell and supporter Michelle Kelly speak out after inquest verdict in Birmingham

In a statement released after the verdict, Mr Burrell’s family said the circumstances of his death were finally in the public domain and they had 17 months of anguish just to lay him to rest.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “First and foremost my thoughts today are with the family and friends of Kingsley Burrell. I offer my condolences to them.

“Clearly more lessons need to be learned by all the agencies involved so that these tragic incidents are not repeated. One death is one too many, whatever the circumstances.

“I will be asking questions of the Chief Constable to ensure that the verdict is examined thoroughly. In addition I will be asking the force to bring a report to my public board meeting so that my board and I can scrutinise the case in detail and hold the police to account.

“We have introduced the Mental Health Triage unit to make sure we are dealing with mental health sufferers appropriately, but I will be asking the Chief Constable further questions to make sure that the police are doing all that they can.”

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