Jury returns devastating narrative conclusions and finding of neglect in Kingsley Burrell inquest

Monday 18 May 2015

After a six-week inquest into the death of Kingsley Burrell, the jury unanimously returned highly critical narrative conclusions and a finding of neglect. Richard Reynolds of Garden Court Chambers represented the mothers of the Deceased's children.

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The case has been widely reported by the BBC, The Guardian and the Birmingham Mail.

Mr Burrell, a 29-year-old black patient in detention for psychiatric assessment, died on 31 March 2011 after being restrained by police and locked in a seclusion room with a covering over his head.

Mr Burrell was restrained by police, in rear handcuffs and leg restraints, for approximately two and a half hours. Police then left him in a seclusion room with a covering over his head. Mental health staff failed to enter the room until almost half an hour later, despite having observed through the viewing window that Mr Burrell’s respiratory rate had dropped to an emergency level. When staff finally entered the room and removed the blanket, Mr Burrell was found to have suffered a cardiac arrest. He died the next day.

The jury concluded that the following contributed to Mr Burrell’s death: excessive force by the police in restraining Mr Burrell; the covering over his head; and the delay by police and mental health staff in procuring or providing medical treatment to him after he had been placed in seclusion. The jury found that ambulance staff, police officers, A & E staff and mental health staff should all have removed the covering from Mr Burrell’s head.

Three police officers now face gross misconduct proceedings.

Richard Reynolds was led by Karon Monaghan QC of Matrix Chambers. Both were instructed by Carolynn Gallwey of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors.

Richard is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests Team.

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