A jury has returned a verdict of misadventure in the inquest into the death of Habib Ullah.
Mr Ullah was stopped by officers in order to search him for drugs in July 2008. During the course of the search Mr Ullah concealed a package of drugs in his mouth and officers restrained him in order to try to retrieve it. Following the restraint Mr Ullah collapsed and later died in hospital. The package was recovered from his throat.
Sarah represented the TVP force and the individual officers involved in the restraint were separately represented. The Coroner conducted a wide ranging inquiry looking into what training and guidance officers were provided at the time in restraint and searching for drugs as well as examining the actions of the officers at the scene. The coroner had allowed a verdict of unlawful killing to be considered, but the jury returned a verdict of misadventure.
The jury also commented in a narrative conclusion that the restraint was “uncoordinated and ineffective”. They questioned whether the level of force was appropriate and stated that some of the techniques used such as nose pinching and gripping Mr Ullah’s throat were not formally trained and carried additional risks.
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Sarah was instructed by Graham Wood, Thames Valley Police Legal Services.