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Inquest into the death of 26 year old Rafal Delezuch following his detention by Leicestershire Constabulary begins on Monday 12 January 2015
9 January 2015
Monday 12 January 2015 at 10 am until 23 January 2015
Leicester Coroner’s Court
The Town Hall, Town Hall Square
Before Assistant Coroner Martin Gotheridge
Rafal Delezuch, a 26 year old Polish national, died on 15 August 2012 following detention by Leicestershire Constabulary. Concerned members of the public called the Police after seeing Rafal behaving in an erratic and seemingly disoriented fashion.
Police officers arrived on the scene and Rafal was restrained using Captor Incapacitant spray and hand and leg restraints. He was transported to Leicester Royal Infirmary under S136 of the Mental Health Act where officers continued to restrain him. Rafal suffered a cardiac arrest whilst being restrained and died later the same day.
Rafal’s family are determined to ensure that all the circumstances of his tragic death are brought under proper scrutiny.
They hope the inquest will examine:
- The level of training and knowledge of the police officers in the use of restraint and the dangers associated with this.
- The relationship between medical staff and the police when a person is detained under the Mental Health Act
- The adequacy of the medical care and treatment Rafal received whilst in Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Carolynn Gallwey, Solicitor acting for the family said:
“Rafal’s family are travelling from Poland to hear first-hand how he died. Their hope is very much that the inquest will allow lessons to be learned from his tragic death, and that other families might thereby be spared the terrible loss they have suffered.”
Deborah Coles, Co director of INQUEST said:
“Time and again INQUEST has raised concerns about the use of fatal restraint of highly vulnerable and distressed individuals and we see some of those concerns repeated in the death of Rafal Delezuch. There needs to be a rigorous investigation into the training and use of restraint by police officers whilst also examining the relationship between the police and medical professionals following a detention under S136 of the Mental Health Act in order to prevent similar deaths occurring.”
INQUEST has been working with the family of Rafal Delezuch since August 2012. The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Carolynn Gallwey from Bhatt Murphy Solicitors and barrister Sally Hatfield QC of Byrom Street Chambers.
‘I was already working with INQUEST, which is the organisation who monitor deaths in custody, and at one AGM I told the audience that what happened to these people [killed in police custody like Chistopher Alder, Roger Sylvester and many others] could happen to any of us. And then a couple of years later, I was standing in front of them again but now it had happened to my cousin. So my family and me were now “users” of Inquest. It shows you that none of us are immune – here am I, Benjamin Zephaniah, patron of INQUEST and client of INQUEST at the same time.’
– Benjamin Zephaniah