Police restraint contributed to death of Coventry man Darren Cumberbatch, inquest rules - The Coventry Observer

16th Aug, 2022

Police restraint contributed to death of Coventry man Darren Cumberbatch, inquest rules

Felix Nobes 26th Jun, 2019 Updated: 26th Jun, 2019

POLICE restraint including baton strikes and using a taser contributed to the death of Coventry man Darren Cumberbatch, an inquest has ruled.

Mr Cumberbatch died of multiple organ failure in hospital on July 19, 2017 after being detained by Warwickshire Police in Nuneaton nine days earlier.

The inquest’s narrative conclusion was that cocaine use, police restraint and ‘related physical exertion’ all played a part in his demise.

It added that some of the restraint may have been ‘excessive’ and was ‘probably avoidable’.

Warwickshire Police deputy chief constable Richard Moore said: “Our thoughts remain with the family of Mr Cumberbatch as they continue to come to terms with his death.

“Every time our officers answer a call they are going into unpredictable and often dangerous situations.

“They are trained to make decisions in challenging and dynamic circumstances.

“Following these tragic events we recognise the importance of now taking the appropriate time to carefully consider the inquest outcome and to ensure our officers are prepared to manage all the risks they face in the course of protecting the public.

“We note the jury’s narrative that some of the restraint used may have been excessive, and that despite attempts to de-escalate the situation, we could have continued to do more.

“We have fully cooperated with the inquest, and with an Independent Office of Police Conduct investigation, and now await publication of their report.”

Police were called to McIntyre House in Nuneaton to find Mr Cumberbatch ‘agitated’ and under the influence of cocaine, the narrative conclusion report found.

The report added that he was displaying symptoms ‘consistent with acute behavioural disorder.’

It said the police made ‘inadequate de-escalation attempts’ on entering the toilet where Mr Cumberbatch was.

A lack of planning and communication in this moment was described as a ‘serious failure’.

Mr Cumberbatch showed resistance throughout, the report states, and efforts to constrain him included ‘baton strikes, physical strikes, punching, stamping, parva spray, tasers and handcuffing.’

Despite resistance by Mr Cumberbatch on entering George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, the report found continued restraint by police was also ‘excessive’.

The report concludes with the line: “The police’s restraint of Darren contributed to his death.”

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