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Gravesend man police restraint death ruled as misadventure

PUBLISHED: 10:10 14 April 2011

Inquest

Inquest

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The parents of a man who died days after being restrained by police have vowed to continue fighting in a bid to make sure other families do not have to go through the same ordeal.

Angela and Stephen, 54 and 59 respectively, comforted each other as an inquest jury returned a verdict of misadventure in to the death of epileptic Jason Murrey at at Gravesend Coroner’s Court on Thursday.

The 34-year-old, of The Hive, Northfleet, died at 3.50pm on June 23 2009 in the intensive care unit at Darent Valley Hospital.

He had fallen unconscious under the care of police officers who had taken him to Little Brook Hospital, Dartford, on June 17 for psychiatric assessments after he visited north Kent police station in an agitated state.

Mrs Murray, who lives in Somerset, said: “From the start this was always about making sure this does not happen again.

“The whole ordeal has been horrendous. It takes over your life, you can’t eat, you can’t sleep. There needs to be better systems in place to prevent this ever happening again.”

The inquest heard several officers restrained Mr Murrey when he became difficult on arrival, he stopped breathing and was rushed to hospital but never regained consciousness.

A statement read out by the foreman of the jury said that police force used to restrain Mr Murray was “reasonable in the circumstances”, and that circulatory collapse, respiratory failure and alcohol withdrawal were “more than minor contributions” to his death.

The time which lapsed prior to attempts to resuscitate Mr Murray was also cited as more than a minor contribution to his death.

Chief Inspector Pete Ayling said: “Our sympathies are with Mr Murray’s family at what is a very upsetting time for them given these very tragic circumstances.

“On this occasion, a proportional use of force was applied, which the coroner agreed was reasonable and justified.

“The officers involved dealt with a difficult and volatile situation in accordance with their training and within the law.”

A spokesperson for Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership said: “We thoroughly investigated the Mr Murray’s death and found that our staff acted in accordance with our service policies however, we always try to identify learning opportunities from incidents and as a result of this case we are now building these into the way we provide care.”

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