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Cops used ‘shocking’ methods on Kingsley Burrell, inquest hears

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Issue 2452
Kingsley Burrell

Kingsley Burrell

A mental health nurse told the inquest into the death of Kingsley Burrell that he found the police’s method for removing restraints “alarming and shocking”. 

Kingsley died in Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 2011. Four days earlier he had called 999 to report that a gang was harassing him while he was out with his five year old son.

The police took him into custody and detained him in a mental health unit before he was transferred to the hospital where he died.

Richard Lucas told the court how one of four police officers “knelt on Kingsley’s back between his shoulder blades” to remove handcuffs and leg restraints in the mental health unit’s seclusion room.

He said officers punched Kingsley’s thighs “with a lot of force”. He described their use of the butt of a police baton.

He said, “These were methods that I had never seen before—they were alarming and shocking.”

Lucas said police asked him and another worker to remove the restraints. He declined as neither had any training in mechanical restraint. 

He also described how Kingsley was wheeled into the unit with a blanket over his head.

He said when his colleague asked an ambulance worker why this was the case, they replied it was because he had been spitting.

Lucas said he had known for the past two years that it was current policy to make sure patients’ faces were never covered in order to monitor them properly.

The Crown Prosecution Service found “insufficient evidence” to charge any of the 12 people with Kingsley’s death.

They included four West Midlands police officers, two West Midlands ambulance staff, three nurses and three doctors.

The inquest continues.


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