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Inquest: ‘Medieval’ Camden police restraint did not cause artist’s death

PUBLISHED: 17:43 17 March 2015 | UPDATED: 18:01 17 March 2015

A bunch of flowers and a witness appeal board on the cycle path where Jubel Miah was stopped by police. Picture: Polly Hancock

A bunch of flowers and a witness appeal board on the cycle path where Jubel Miah was stopped by police. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

The actions of police did not result in the death of an artist who choked while being restrained by officers, an inquest has ruled.

A bunch of flowers on the cycle path where the man was stopped by police. Picture: Polly HancockA bunch of flowers on the cycle path where the man was stopped by police. Picture: Polly Hancock

Jubel Miah, 37, died three days after he was put in a “medieval-looking” grip and wrestled to the ground by police on a cycle path off Agar Grove, in Camden Town, on June 5 last year.

He was restrained for swallowing a blue plastic wrap full of drugs in front of officers, the inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard.

As Mr Miah was being held, the parcel became irretrievably lodged in his throat, causing him to collapse and suffocate, a jury ruled on Tuesday.

No blame was apportioned to the two officers who restrained him.

The jury foreman returned a narrative verdict, and told the court: “On the basis of the evidence, we believe Mr Miah died as a result of asphyxiation due to a foreign body accidentally becoming lodged in his windpipe.

“It was lodged in a position which made it difficult to extract without appropriate equipment.”

He added: “The amount of time elapsed, about 30 minutes, was sufficiently long that damage to the brain was irreversible. Mr Miah’s lifestyle was probably a contributing factor to his death.”

The jury ruled that Mr Miah died as a result of breathing failure because a “foreign body” had blocked his airways.

He was also found to have taken cocaine and heroin.

Last week, the inquest heard that Mr Miah was put in a police manoeuvre known as a “C-clamp” after refusing to open his mouth for officers.

Pc Mohamed Taher described how he put his finger behind Mr Miah’s ear and his thumb across his nose to try and make him spit out the item.

He told the court the grip looks “medieval” but that it is standard police practice.

However, the officer admitted that his finger slipped onto Mr Miah’s windpipe because he was resisting.

Mr Miah was eventually wrestled to his knees but within seconds, he suddenly went limp and collapsed, the jury heard.

Trainee Det Con Arif Sheikh told the court immediately called for an ambulance and more officers, who confirmed that Mr Miah had stopped breathing.

He was then given CPR, which did not work because his throat was blocked.

Special equipment had to be called for to finally extract the parcel from Mr Miah’s throat, about 30 minutes after he first stopped breathing.

He was then taken to University College Hospital in Euston, where he died three days later on June 8.

The death is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Service said: “Our thoughts are with Mr Miah’s family at this time.

“There is an independent investigation ongoing by the IPCC. It would be inappropriate to comment further while this is ongoing.”

A spokesman for the IPCC said: “Our investigation is still ongoing. We provided requested information to the coroner ahead of the inquest and the report is in the process of being written.

“We will look to make its findings public in due course.”


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