2 April 2021

Before HM Assistant Coroner Oliver Longstaff
Bradford Coroner’s Court, remote access for media
Opened 20 April 2021, scheduled for seven weeks

Andrew Hall, a Black man from Huddersfield, was 43 when died on 13 September 2016. He was subject to a period of restraint by officers at Huddersfield Police station, after being arrested in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary where he had been physically unwell. Whilst being restrained, Andrew deteriorated and was taken back to hospital where he died.

The inquest into Andrew’s death opened on Tuesday (20 April 2021) and is scheduled for the next seven weeks. 

Andrew’s family describe him as a loving, caring and considerate father who enjoyed spending time with his family. He was incredibly close with his mother, and would always look after her. Andrew was the joker of the family, he loved having people over for dinner and big BBQs and was well liked by all who knew him.

In the lead up to his death, Andrew had been suffering from extreme pain associated with long-standing arthritis. This impacted on his ability to sleep and, by 12 September 2016, he had been unable to sleep for a prolonged period. That evening Andrew took a quantity of prescribed medication to try and get some sleep. Later, his partner noted he was making strange noises and appeared to be biting down on his tongue. She called for an ambulance.

Andrew was admitted to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary at approximately 2am on 13 September 2016, where he was unresponsive (with a Glasgow Coma Scale reading of 3/15). Treatment for an overdose of medication was commenced. Andrew’s level of consciousness fluctuated during his treatment and he was disoriented throughout. Sometime after 7am, whilst being assisted by his partner to the toilet, Andrew struck a nurse and the police were called. Andrew was taken into police custody and transported to Huddersfield Police Station.

Andrew was subject to forcible restraint whilst in police custody and was subsequently returned by ambulance to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. Andrew died shortly after his return to hospital on 13 September 2016.

The family hopes the inquest will thoroughly examine:

  • whether Andrew was provided with adequate care during his first admission at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary,
  • whether the police response was necessary and proportionate,
  • if the police restraint contributed to Andrew’s death,
  • and ultimately whether Andrew’s race may have played a role in his death.

Natalie Dyer, Andrew’s Partner, said: “As a family we want justice for Andrew and we want the truth to be uncovered, and for no family to suffer as we have. We cannot comprehend how or why this happened to Andrew and hope we that we get our questions answered during the inquest process. Andrew was loved by everyone who knew him and will be missed every day.”

ENDS


NOTES TO EDITORS
For further information, interview requests and to note your interest, please contact Lucy McKay on 020 7263 1111 or [email protected]

Andrew’s family are represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Alice Forster and Chris Topping of Broudie Jackson Canter Solicitors, Leslie Thomas QC, Ifeanyi Odogwu and Thalia Maragh of Garden Court Chambers. The family are supported by INQUEST caseworker Nancy Kelehar, and Head of Casework, Anita Sharma. 

The other interested persons represented at the inquest are the Chief Constable for West Yorkshire Police (and three individual officers), the Police Federation for England and Wales (including 12 individual officers), Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, two individual doctors, Leeds Community Care and the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Please email [email protected] to request remote access to the inquest, which is via telephone.

Analysis of available data by INQUEST shows: the proportion of deaths in police custody of people from Black and Minority Ethnic groups where restraint is a feature is over two times greater than in other deaths in custody. More information on race and deaths in custody is available on our website.