Damning new evidence has emerged at the inquest into the death of Habib “Paps” Ullah in police custody in High Wycombe, Berkshire.
Habib, a father-of-three, suffered a cardiac arrest after five officers pinned him down during a stop and search in July 2008.
PC Christopher Pomery was called to the inquest to explain why he was seen “gripping the throat” of Habib. He said he was trying to “inflict pain” to get Habib to comply with his orders.
“Obviously from a member of the public’s point of view it would look like I was trying to strangle him,” Pomery said. “It’s not a recognised technique.”
Emma Forbes, who was in the car with him, said: “He was face down and they had their hands around his throat. I was shouting ‘he’s going blue’, ‘let go’ and they were just ignoring me.”
She added that she heard an officer say “break his arm”.
Detective Constable Richard Bazeley’s original statement after the incident included a description of the officer “gripping the throat”—but a solicitor advised him to remove it.
“That particular point I know I was advised to take out,” he admitted. “I didn’t like the idea of doing it. I thought it’s probably going to look suspicious—exactly how it’s probably looking now.”
The inquest has been suspended for a new investigation.
Join the vigil for Habib, 4pm, Saturday 18 December, High Wycombe police station