Socialist Worker

Inquest into cell death

Issue No. 2351

An inquest into the death of a man in a police cell has criticised police behaviour that could have contributed to his death. 

James Herbert was held under the mental health act in Yeovil police station and died, naked, on the floor of his cell.

James’ father said, “The CCTV pictures of our dying son tell it eloquently, the story of catastrophic errors, disregard and neglect shown to James’s welfare.”

The cause of death was recorded as cardiac arrest after taking a legal high.

 But the narrative verdict points to a lack of communication between police officers about the James’s mental health, his drug use and previous incidents. 

The verdict also referred to the failure to call for medical help while he was being taken to the police station. 

It also mentioned the need for closer monitoring of James as possible contributory factors.


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.