Kingsley Burrell, 29, from Hockley, died four days after he was detained in March 2011. His family have always claimed he was restrained using excessive force. An inquest is finally due to take place in February. At a pre-inquest hearing today, Birmingham coroner Louise Hunt said the dad-of-three had what could have been a sheet or blanket “wrapped around his head”. She added that three pathologists had each given a “slightly different” cause of death. Mrs Hunt said she would ask them to consider what impact restraint had an impact on the cause of death and whether there was any evidence of a Taser being used.
They will also investigate the effect on Mr Burrell’s breathing of having a sheet or blanket wrapped around his head. His sister Kadisha Brown-Burrell, aged 31 and from West Bromwich, said she hoped the inquest would lead to a criminal prosecution. In June the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute four police officers and six NHS staff involved in treating or caring for Mr Burrell before his death.
He died three days after dialling 999 for police help because he felt he was about to be attacked by a gang while he was out walking with his young son. But he was himself detained under the Mental Health Act, transferred to a mental health unit and then the Queen Elizabeth Hospital before he died. His sister said: “Even though they have decided there will be no criminal proceedings we’re hoping the inquest will show criminal proceedings need to be addressed which show he died in an inhumane way.”
A total of 56 witnesses are listed to appear at the inquest, due to run for four weeks from February 9. But Mrs Hunt is considering a request from legal representatives for the hearing to last longer, which could see it put back to October.
Source: Birmingham Live.