Socialist Worker

Habib "Paps" Ullah cops face further questions after inquest

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2443

Habibs family and supporters refuse to give up fighting for justice

Habib's family and supporters refuse to give up fighting for justice (Pic: Justice4Paps)


Thames Valley police officers are set to face a misconduct hearing concerning the death in custody of Habib “Paps” Ullah.

Habib collapsed and later died after he was stopped and searched by police in High Wycombe in 2008.

This week an inquest into his death returned a verdict of “misadventure” – with a narrative conclusion that highly criticised cops’ use of restraint.

It was revealed that no CPR was applied before the ambulance arrived and Habib was not put in the recovery position.

Several officers recognised some signs associated with abnormal breathing but no practical assistance was offered.

The jury found that valuable time was lost due to the fact that the officers believed him to be feigning unconsciousness.

The inquest also heard that he was backslapped by officers and his eye was jabbed. Habib’s family have been put through seven years of agony. The first inquest into his death collapsed in 2010 after it was revealed cops had changed their statements.

Habib’s sister, Nasrit Mahmood, said, “We are pleased that we have a critical narrative verdict. It's been an extremely difficult time for the family since my brother, Habib, died at the hands of Thames Valley Police.

Completed

“What is so hard to accept is that it has taken almost seven years for an inquest to be completed into his death. All these years of fighting has taken a tremendous toll on the family.”

An investigation into Habib’s death was carried out at the time by the Independent Police Complaints Commission which cleared police of wrongdoing.

But now DS Jason Liles, PC Christopher Pomery, DC Richard Bazeley, PC Howard Wynne and PC Katie Granger have been told they have a case to answer.

Nasrit said, “There are still many matters that remain unresolved. We are deeply unhappy about events that took place afterwards at the police station and the way statements were changed.

“We hope that the forthcoming disciplinary hearings will be both effective and will send out a clear message to officers about their conduct.

“We also hope that CPS will finally put the officers concerned on trial. Whatever the outcome we will be considering a civil claim on the basis of assault and breaches of Article 2 Right to Life.”


Meanwhile three Devon and Cornwall police officers appeared at Bristol Crown Court last week accused of killing a man in custody.

Church caretaker Thomas Orchard, who had schizophrenia, died after being arrested in Exeter in 2012. The case has been adjourned until 5 June.


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