Janet Alder’s civil case against police officers involved in the death of her brother Christopher has been adjourned until December, following a short hearing in London last week. A similar case brought by Christopher’s two sons has also been put back to that date.
The adjournment was welcomed by Janet, who is awaiting new evidence which is expected to emerge later this year. This includes previously unseen video evidence relating to Christopher’s death.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is currently examining the Christopher Alder case, and the home secretary is also reviewing a previous decision not to open a public inquiry into his death.
Janet’s lawyers had argued that the hearing should not proceed until both these processes had been completed. This is expected to happen sometime around September.
Christopher Alder died in custody in Hull police station on 1 April 1998. He was left face down and unconscious on the station floor with his hands cuffed behind his back. A video of the last 11 minutes of his life shows him gasping for breath as police officers stand around and ignore him.
Janet Alder has been campaigning for justice for her brother ever since. She stood as Respect’s candidate in Tottenham during the general election, winning 6.8 percent of the vote.