Inquest opens into Mikey Powell death

Mikey Powelloriginally published:
4th November 2009

A Birmingham man with a history of mental illness died in police custody after being struck by a patrol car called to his home, an inquest jury has been told.

The panel heard that Michael Powell, 38, was also struck with a baton before being restrained and taken to Thornhill Road police station in September 2003.

Opening the inquest, which is expected to last for six weeks, the assistant deputy coroner for Birmingham, Stephen Campbell, said medical experts did not believe that Mr Powell died as a result of being struck by the car or the baton.

Giving the jury a “framework” of the evidence it will hear, the coroner said the inquest had been delayed because of other proceedings and investigations into the death, which occurred while Mr Powell was living at his mother’s home in Wilton Street, Lozells.

During his opening remarks, Mr Campbell told jurors they would have to decide the medical cause of the death after hearing from a number of experts.

Mr Campbell stated that a medical witness due to give evidence at the inquest believed that Mr Powell died from a complication of sickle cell trait, while one pathologist believed that on one view of the evidence, the medical cause of death was positional asphyxia.

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