from Black Mental Health UK
16th December 2009
The jury at the inquest into the tragic death while in police custody of service user Michael Lloyd Powell (known as Mikey) today returned a damning verdict and found that the way that he was restrained resulted in his death from positional asphyxia.
We have worked for six years to reach this point – the jury have found that the position the police put Mikey in killed him . Hopefully this will give some encouragement to other families who have lost someone in custody,’ Mikey’s sister Sieta Lambrias said.
This landmark case has gripped the attention of with large sections of the community who are increasingly concerned about how police officers treat vulnerable black service users when they are taken into custody.
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 the 38 year old father of three died after being detained by West Midlands Police on 7 September 2003. Powell was a team leader in a local metal factory and was at the time living with his mother.