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Kingsley Burrell's 'head wrapped in towel' on hospital CCTV

FATHER-OF-THREE: Kingsley Burrell

TRAINEE SECURITY guard Kingsley Burrell who died in hospital following contact with police had “a blanket, sheet or towel” wrapped around his head, a pre-inquest review hearing was told.

Coroner Louise Hunt told the packed hearing that there are CCTV images showing the 29-year-old father-of-three at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital with a blanket over his head.

Kingsley, from Hockley, Birmingham, died at the hospital in March 2011, four days after dialling 999 for police help, saying he was being harassed by a gang while out walking with his young son.

He ended up being detained under the Mental Health Act at the Mary Seacole mental health unit in Winson Green before being transferred to the QE.

Five months ago the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) ruled there was “insufficient evidence” to charge 12 people with his death. They included four West Midlands Police officers, two West Midlands Ambulance Service staff, three nurses and three doctors.

However Kingsley’s mum Janet Brown and his sisters Kadisha Brown-Burrell and Lorraine Sang, who were all at the hearing, said they were still hopeful that the outcome of his inquest would yet lead to a criminal conviction.

“This was a very productive hearing and as a family we are pleased that my brother’s mysterious death will now be placed in the public domain,” said Kadisha, who has led the family’s tireless campaign for justice during the past three years. “It will be up to a jury to decide how he died. The fact is that Kingsley died in an inhumane way.”


UNITED: Kadisha Brown-Burrell (left) with Kingsley's mum Janet Brown and sister Lorraine Sang outside the Coroner's Court

The full inquest is scheduled to take place in February over a four-week period, but with almost 60 witnesses to give evidence, it may need a full six weeks and that could mean the hearing is delayed until October.

Several of the legal teams representing the police and health professionals also felt that four weeks was too short to “shoehorn in” so much evidence and one solicitor suggested the inquest should be held in a conference centre to cope with the expected numbers.

But Kadisha said the family, who had already waited almost four years, were quite happy to wait until later in 2015 so all the evidence can be heard fully and properly.

The coroner told the hearing that expert witnesses would include three forensic pathologists who she said, “all give a slightly different cause of death.”


MARCH FOR JUSTICE: Kingsley Burrell's family marching in Birmingham earlier this year

Ms Hunt said the inquest would hear about the effects of restraint on Kingsley, whether a Taser was used and what the effects of having a sheet or blanket over his head would have had on his breathing.

There will be evidence from three forensic psychiatrists, toxicology reports and the tape of the 999 call Kingsley made to police. There will also be a discussion on the possibility of Kingsley suffering “excited delirium syndrome” which can result in sudden death following restraint.

A DVD on restraint techniques is being specially made for the inquest by a restraint expert so the court can envisage what restraint techniques look like.

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