13th January 2012

10 am Monday, 16th January, 2012
at Southwark Crown Court,
1 English Grounds,
Tooley Street,
London SE1 2HU

The trial of Dr Hisham El-Baroudy for causing the death of Andrzej Rymarzak in police custody is due to begin on Monday 16 January 2012 at Southwark Crown Court.

Mr Andrzej Rymarzak died of opiate and alcohol intoxication at Chelsea police station, London, early in the morning on 22 January 2009 . He was examined hours earlier by Dr El-Baroudy, who certified that he was fit to be detained.

The prosecution allege that Dr El-Baroudy, who was a former Forensic Medical Examiner, owed Mr Rymarzak a duty of care and was grossly negligent.

Deborah Coles, Co-Director of INQUEST, said:

This death raises serious questions about the quality of medical care afforded people in police custody and the inappropriate use of police cells for those who require proper levels of care and supervision. The disturbing number of deaths in police custody of those under the influence of drugs and alcohol highlights the pressing need for alternatives to custody for this vulnerable group.

Mr Rymarzak’s family said:

We are very distressed by the circumstances of Andrzej’s death. We feel that he was treated as if he was less than human and not given the basic care that any person deserves.

Notes to editors:

The Rymarzak family will not be making any comment to the media during the course of the criminal trial.

In its 2010 report Deaths in or following police custody: An examination of the cases 1998/99-2008/09 the Independent Police Complaints Commission found that over the eleven year period 1998/99 to 2008/09 the majority of deaths in police custody were linked to alcohol or drugs, with both factors featuring in between 60% and 80% of the deaths. The report recommended that the Home Office and Department of Health should pilot alternative facilities for intoxicated people with access to medical provision, with a view to developing a national scheme.

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