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Civil Liberties

Suicide of ‘much loved son’ in HMP Norwich result of failings in prison care, inquest finds

16th March 2018 - Independent

‘It has been almost impossible to understand the total disregard by the prison and healthcare staff,’ says Joe Bartlett’s mother

An inquest into the death of a prisoner who took his own life, has found that failings at the facility where he was being held contributed to his death.

Joe Bartlett from Essex, described as a “much-loved son” by his family, died on 5 April last year after he was found hanged in his cell at HMP Norwich.

A jury concluded that prison staff failed to adequately follow procedures to reduce the risks of self-harm and suicide, and that there was insufficient information gathering.

The lawyer representing Mr Bartlett’s family, Claire Brigham comments.

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Death of inmate Sean Plumstead reveals Ministry of Justice let staff work in HMP Winchester without suicide prevention training

12th February 2018 - Hampshire Chronicle

THE death of an inmate at Winchester prison has revealed that the Ministry of Justice allowed staff to work in the prison without suicide prevention training, against its own policy.

Father-of-two Sean Plumstead was found hanging in his cell days after asking a staff member the best way to take his own life.

Senior Associate Clair Hilder who represented Mr Plumstead’s family comments.

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Met officers who wrongly arrested black man put through misconduct hearings

12th January 2018 - The Guardian

Officers had been told bicycle theft suspect was white but targeted a black man standing nearby and used excessive force to arrest him.

Four police officers who wrongly arrested a black man for stealing a bicycle in London when told that the suspect was white have been put through misconduct hearings.

An inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission twice overturned earlier decisions by the Metropolitan police that no investigation was necessary.

The original incident occurred in Leather Lane, central London, in February 2016 when three male police officers and a female officer were working early in the evening on a plain clothes anti-cycle-theft operation in Camden.

Joanna Bennett, the civil liberties lawyer, who represented Mr Okorodudu commnets…

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Camden couple get five-figure payout over assault claims

11th December 2017 - BBC

A couple who say police officers assaulted them in their own home have received a five-figure settlement.

Aldires Bugia, of Camden, said an officer “kicked open” her front door in April 2013 and two officers started punching her husband.

The Metropolitan Police believed a man wanted in connection with a drug deal was at the flat.

It made the payment to settle an out-of-court a claim of unlawful arrest and police brutality.

Ms Bugia said she and her husband, who has not given his full name, were woken up by six officers in the middle of the night.

Susie Labinjoh, Joint-Head of Civil Liberties, said they would have never taken legal action if the Met had apologised.

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Race is ‘significant contributory factor’ to deaths in police custody, according to independent review

3rd November 2017 - The Justice Gap

The long awaited independent review into deaths in custody has found ethnicity to be a ‘significant contributory factor’ in relation to fatalities. The wide-ranging report calls for reform of the police watchdog the Independent Police Complains Commission including the ‘phasing out’ of ex-police officers leading investigations; an end to the conferring between officers before they make statements; and legal aid for families whose relatives have died in custody. Sarah Foss reports

Clair Hilder, a senior associate in the Civil Liberties department comments…

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