PRESS RELEASE – For immediate release 3 December 2010

Monday 6 December 2010 at 10 am
before HM Coroner for Buckinghamshire, Richard Hulett
sitting at Evreham Adult Education Centre, Swallow Street, Iver, SL0 0HS

The inquest into the death of Habib Ullah will start on Monday 6 December 2010 and is listed for eight days.

Habib “Paps” Ullah, aged 39, died on 3 July 2008 after he was stopped for a drugs search by Thames Valley Police officers in the Sharrow Vale area of High Wycombe. Towards the end of the search, which passed without incident or resistance by Habib and his friends, Habib was seen by police officers to have an item in his mouth which they believed to be drugs.  In the events that followed, Habib was forced to the ground and restrained face down by the police officers.

In the course of being restrained, Habib went limp.  The officers called emergency medical services and the paramedic immediately identified that Habib was in cardiac arrest and administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation.  He was taken to High Wycombe Hospital.  Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful and Habib was pronounced dead half an hour after arrival.

Habib Ullah’s family and the Justice4Paps campaign hope the inquest will examine:

  • The role of the police officers throughout the incident and the extent to which their actions may have played a part in Habib’s death.
  • Whether the police officers used excessive force to restrain Habib.
  • Why the police officers engaged in the potentially dangerous restraint of someone at risk of swallowing drugs, given the immediate and life threatening consequences this posed.
  • Whether  there was adequate communication before, during and after the restraint between the officers, between the officers and Habib, and between the officers and medical services.
  • The training available to  police officers and whether they had received adequate training and guidance to assist them to deal effectively with such circumstances.
  • The appropriateness and adequacy of the first aid assistance offered to Habib at the scene by officers and the paramedic.

Habib’s widow Mussarat Habib said:

My husband played a full part in our family life. He was a greatly loved father and husband and we are devastated by his loss. We are struggling to come to terms with his loss. Everyone has the right to life and nobody should die as he did. We all hope that the inquest will give us some answers and justice.

Deborah Coles, Co-Director of INQUEST, said:

This is a highly contentious death that has had tragic consequences for Habib’s family and caused great disquiet in the wider community. It is essential the inquest ensures proper scrutiny of the police officers’ actions that day and identifies what lessons can be learned to stop this happening again.

Details of the Justice4Paps campaign can be found  at

Habib Ullah’s family is being represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members, counsel Sean Horstead of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Jules Carey and Marian Ellingworth of Tuckers Solicitors.

Help and advice
Donate to us
Press releases