Police inspector defends his decision

West Midlands Police HQfrom Birmingham Mail
2nd December 2009

A police inspector on duty when Michael Powell died in custody defended his decision to send the father-of-three to a police station instead of a hospital.

Mr Anthony Guest, who has since retired, told the inquest jury at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall that he believed Mr Powell’s behaviour had been “violent” in the moments before he was put into a police van. Officers had been called to the home of Mr Powell’s mother in Wilton Road, Lozells, after reports the 38-year-old had smashed windows on the property and a car in the driveway.

Mr Powell was also said to have run towards a police patrol car with an unknown weapon before smashing a rear window.

Mr Guest said he arrived at the scene and saw Mr Powell being restrained by three police officers. “Michael Powell was struggling quite violently, his whole body was moving. He was struggling to break free.”

Mr Guest, a police officer for 30 years, said repeated attempts to calm Mr Powell down had failed, which led the former inspector to believe he “may have been having a mental health episode.”

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