For immediate release 18 December 2009
(updated Pt3 ‘Jury Findings’ – 09 Jan 2010)
The jury at the inquest into the controversial death in police custody in 2003 of Michael Lloyd Powell (known as Mikey) today returned a damning narrative verdict and found that the way that he was restrained resulted in his death from positional asphyxia (see below).
The inquest opened on 4 November 2009, over six years after his death in September 2003 and was heard at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall before HM Assistant Deputy Coroner for Birmingham, Stephen Campbell.
The inquest heard that Mikey Powell died after being detained by West Midlands Police on 7 September 2003. He was 38, had three children and worked as a team leader in a local metal factory and was at the time living with his mother. He had been unwell, suffering a mental ill health episode and smashed a window at their home. His mother called the police for help, assuming they would take him to hospital.
When the officers arrived they did not help. After Mikey broke a window in their car the officers then drove away and then came back driving straight at him as fast as they could. They claimed they believed he had a gun, which he did not. During the inquest his family’s legal representatives challenged the officers as the family suspected that the officers had arrived at their home with preset fears about their area and their community.