Inquest: Artist died three days after Camden police restrained him with ‘medieval-looking’ grip
- Credit: Polly Hancock
An artist died after police put him in a “medieval-looking” grip and wrestled him to the ground, an inquest has heard.
Jubel Miah, 37, died on June 8, three days after he was stopped by officers on a cycle path off Agar Grove in Camden Town.
Two uniformed police officers saw the former social sciences student holding a blue plastic wrap suspected to contain drugs as he was walking along the pathway, a jury heard at the start of a two-week inquest on Monday at St Pancras Coroner’s Court.
It prompted trainee Det Con Arif Sheikh to ask his then-colleague Pc Mohamed Taher: “Is that gear?”, a slang term for drugs.
It is thought Mr Miah, of North Finchley, then swallowed the plastic wrap, the jury heard.
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He was put in a police manoeuvre known as a “C-clamp” after refusing to open his mouth for officers, Pc Taher told the court.
The inquest heard how Pc Taher put his finger behind Mr Miah’s ear and his thumb across his nose to try and make him spit out the item.
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Pc Taher told the jury: “It looks quite medieval but it is what we are taught to get them to comply.”
However, Pc Taher’s finger slipped onto Mr Miah’s windpipe because he was resisting, the court was told.
Mr Miah was eventually wrestled to his knees but within seconds, he suddenly went limp and his breathing slowed, the jury heard.
Other officers and paramedics arrived soon afterwards to carry out CPR.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigated the death, senior coroner for inner north London Mary Hassell told the jury.
The inquest heard that the two officers decided to restrain Mr Miah because of the “high risk” of him choking.
Trainee Det Con Arif Sheikh told the court: “If he had run off and swallowed the items in his mouth, he could have collapsed somewhere.
“There were lots of risk factors involved in using force on Mr Miah to get him under control.”
He added: “It was an emergency situation.
“I said to him, ‘If you don’t open your mouth, you could die.’”
The court is yet to hear how Mr Miah died.
The inquest continues.