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Kingsley Burrell's sister 'unhappy' with diversity of jury

CONCERNS: Kingsley Burrell's sister, Kadisha Brown-Burrell

THE SISTER of Kingsley Burrell has told a hearing into her brother death that she’s unhappy with the ethnic make-up of the jury.

Kadisha Brown-Burrell, who has campaigned tirelessly since Kingsley died after contact with police and NHS staff in 2011, told senior coroner Louise Hunt at Birmingham Coroner’s Court: “The jury does not reflect the society we live in – it does not seem fair.”

Burrell was referring to the fact that out of the 11 jurors, made up of seven white men and four women, just one woman is black.

But Ms Hunt told the court: “The jury is made up of a completely random selection of people and I have had no input into this whatsoever. We have a list of jurors given to us from the Crown Court like any other case. This is how the jury system works. In my view it would be wrong to pre-select the jury.”

Ms Brown-Burrell said she was also concerned that they did not seem to be asking questions, but she was assured that jurors usually only asked questions when the advocates had not made the facts clear.

She was assured by one QC that it often took jurors a few days to “warm up” before they started putting up their hands to make inquiries.

It was the third day of a six-week inquest into the death of the father-of-two.

The inquest heard evidence from PCs Paul Adey and Paul Greenfield who attended the shop in Icknield Port Road, Edgbaston, on March 27, 2011 where father-of-three Kingsley had dialled 999 for help saying two men were putting a gun to his four-year-old son’s head. However CCTV footage from the shop showed no evidence of this.

PC Greenfield said Kingsley, a trainee security guard, was “bizarre and strange” in his demeanour, but he was not aggressive. He said he was swaying from side to side in the back of the ambulance holding his young son.

INQUEST: Kingsley Burrell died after contact with police and NHS staff in 2011

The former front line response officer, who joined the force in 2006, said after there had been a brief struggle to handcuff Kingsley, that he made eye contact with the little boy. “I could see he was petrified,” he said.

PC Greenfield, when asked, said he was not sure if he drew his taser or not, but a form he later completed confirmed this. The taser was drawn but not fired.

He said Kingsley was talking to him in a calm and plausible manner in the back of the ambulance as they drove to the Oleaster mental health unit at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

“He came across as a nice person. He talked about his son and how much he enjoyed spending time with him. He told me he liked to go swimming with him on Sundays and I talked about my daughters.

“Then out of the blue Kingsley turned and shouted that I was planting drugs on him and injecting him with drugs.”

PC Greenfield added that when they arrived at the Oleaster Centre, Kingsley spat out a drink he was given, accusing people of trying to poison him. When he calmed down, the police officers agreed to his request to have his handcuffs removed, but on doing so he tried to break free, so the handcuffs had to remain, said PC Greenfield.

When asked by Karon Monaghan, QC, who is representing two of Kingsley’s former partners, he was asked if he had considered a “less coercive” way of helping Kingsley by contacting his GP or his family rather than taking him to a mental health unit.

“Kingsley needed help and I wanted him to get professional medical help,” said PC Greenfield.

The case continues

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