30 July 1997

Royal Courts of Justice 10.30 31 JULY 1997 R v Southwark Coroner ex parte Douglas The judgement in the judicial review of the inquest into the death in police custody of Wayne Douglas will be given in the High court tomorrow at 10.30am.

Lawyers acting for the family of Wayne Douglas who died in police custody in December 1995 in Brixton Police Station have sought to quash the verdict of accidental death returned after a three week inquest in December 1996.

The jury found Wayne Douglas had died of `left ventricular failure due to stress and exhaustion and positional asphyxia....following a chase and a series of restraints, in prone position, face down, as used in current police methods'.

The family’s lawyers argued that the Coroner made errors in his summing up to the jury on what they needed to find before they could consider an unlawful killing verdict reflecting gross negligence/manslaughter. If the court finds in the Douglas family's favour there will have to be a new inquest at a later date.