23 April 1997

HM Coroner Dr Paul Knapman

Westminster Coroners Court 65 Horseferry Road London SW1P 2ED

Commences Thursday 24 April 1997 9.30am

Mark McLoughlin a 24 year old man died in Marylebone Police Station on January 31st 1997 after being arrested in Oxford Street for allegedly being drunk and disorderly. He died as a result of an overdose of methadone.

We are deeply concerned at the fact that since his death the custody record and all related material have gone missing and that the family have no information about the circumstances surrounding his death whatsoever.

Despite the fact that unlimited public funds are available for the Police to have a team of lawyers to represent them and their interests at the inquest, disgracefully there is no legal aid for families to be represented. INQUEST have arranged for barrister Nadine Finch to represent his family.

The death of Mark McLoughlin raises serious questions about the medical care of detainees in police custody. In INQUEST’s 17 years of monitoring deaths in custody it is clear that people arrested for alleged drunkenness are often suffering from a pre-existing injury or medical condition the symptoms of which are often mistaken for drunkenness by non medically trained police officers with tragic consequences. INQUEST’s concerns about the medical treatment and care of people in police custody have been echoed by a number of other organisations including the British medical association and the Association Of Police surgeons.