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Inquest into the death of Kingsley Burrell begins on Tuesday 7th April 2015

1 April 2015

INQUEST INTO THE DEATH OF KINGSLEY BURRELL BEGINS ON TUESDAY 7TH APRIL 2015 AND IS EXPECTED TO LAST 6 WEEKS

Tuesday 7th April 2015 at 10.00am
Birmingham Coroner’s Court, 50 Newton Street, Birmingham B4 6NE
Before Senior Coroner Louise Hunt
Expected to last 6 weeks

On Sunday 27 March 2011 Kingsley called emergency services to report intimidating behaviour by some men in a shop.  West Midlands Police officers and the ambulance service arrived at the scene.  They formed the view that Kingsley was imagining the threat and Kingsley was forcibly detained under S136 of the Mental Health Act.  Members of his family later visited Kingsley and were concerned that he had injuries and bruising to his body.

Kingsley spent 3 days in a psychiatric hospital.  On 30 March 2011, following reports of a disturbance, 5 police officers and a police dog were called on to the ward to assist medical staff.  Kingsley was forcibly restrained, in the course of which he sustained a cut above his eye.  He was transferred to another secure facility via A&E, where the cut was stitched.  He remained under restraints in the prone position on a hospital trolley for a significant amount of time.  His face and head were also covered with a blanket or towel. 

Shortly after police released the restraints, Kingsley was observed to be in respiratory distress.  Medical staff entered the room a short time later and found he had suffered a cardiac arrest.  He died on 31 March 2011.

Kingsley’s family have waited for four years for the inquest and answers as to why he died.  The inquest is expected to consider the use of force and the restraint methods used by West Midlands Police and also whether the medical professionals who were charged with protecting Kingsley whilst he was in a vulnerable state did that job appropriately.

Kadisha Brown-Burrell, Kingsley’s sister said:

“Yesterday marked the 4th anniversary of Kingsley’s untimely death.  Kingsley was a loving kind brother who loved his children dearly.  He should never have died in the way that he did and I will not give up the fight to find out the truth about how he died.”

Deborah Coles, co-director of inquest said:

“Kingsley’s death is one of a very worrying number of deaths where young black men have died whilst detained under mental health provisions and following forceful intervention by police.

We hope that the inquest will allow an unflinching look at what went wrong, and that its findings will add weight to calls for a re-think of how such situations are managed.”

INQUEST has been working with the family of Kingsley Burrell since March 2011.  The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Carolynn Gallwey of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors and Richard Reynolds of Garden Court Chambers.  Karon Monaghan QC of Matrix Chambers is instructed as Senior Counsel.

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