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Kingsley Burrell coroner sceptical of PC's memory

ANSWERS: Protesters march for Kingsley Burrell in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM CORONER Louise Hunt suggested to a police officer that he was wrong when he told an inquest jury he saw Kingsley Burrell raise his head as cops left him in a mental health unit seclusion room.

PC Paul Adey was one of four Taser-armed officers who had taken 29-year-old Kingsley handcuffed and in leg restraints to the Oleaster unit after he had been sedated and transferred from the Mary Seacole mental health unit.

PC Adey said he remembered looking back into the seclusion room and seeing Kingsley lift his head and look around him before lying down again once his restraints had been removed.

Hunt said other witnesses had told the inquest that Kingsley’s arms dropped to his sides and he never moved once his restraints were off, but PC Adey said: "I know what I saw – he raised his head," to which Ms Hunt replied: "I suggest you are wrong, officer."

In an earlier statement in December 2011, nine months after Kingsley’s death, Hunt stated that PC Adey had said he looked back at Kingsley through a window in the door.

But Hunt challenged this because she said the door’s window was covered by a locked hatch to which only nurses had the key.

She also asked PC Adey if he remembered seeing a white cover over Kingsley’s head and face. He insisted Kingsley’s face was clear because he said he had spat and he also remembered making eye contact with him.

Hunt said the inquest had heard from six witnesses who had all given varying descriptions of a blanket, sheet or towel being about Kingsley’s head and face, but PC Adey said his head was uncovered.

“How can they all be wrong, officer?” said Hunt, to which PC Adey said he didn’t know, adding that from where he was standing, he saw no cover.

She had asked him to look at CCTV photographs of Kingsley on a stretcher and asked wasn’t it obvious that he had something covering his head, but he said that at the time his attention was drawn away from the stretcher, so he wasn’t looking directly at Kingsley.

Earlier Hunt had asked him if he had knelt on Kingsley’s back between his shoulders for a few seconds as he lay prone on the seclusion room bed to help fellow officers who were struggling to remove the restraints.

Hunt said two witnesses had described this, but PC Adey said he did not do that.

PC Adey said he was shaking so much after helping to remove Kingsley’s restraints that he spilt a drink over himself in a nearby kitchen where officers were taken afterwards for refreshments. He said he also asked if he could go outside for a cigarette.

Referring to Kingsley, PC Adey, who had been a police officer for three years at the time, told the jury that he had never experienced anything like dealing with Kingsley and had never had to deal with anyone as strong.

Hunt asked him if he remembered a member of staff coming into the kitchen and saying that Kingsley’s respiratory rate was only seven breaths a minute, which is normally a cause for concern.

But PC Adey said she was not concerned and was quite matter of fact about it. She had said it was nothing to worry about because he had been sedated.

Hunt is expected to start her summing up to the jury early next week as the inquest enters its fifth week.

Kingsley died in March 2011 following contact with four police officers and six NHS staff. Last year the Crown Prosecution Service said there was "insufficient evidence" to charge anyone with his death.

The hearing continues...

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