submitted by: Ken Fero
published: 3rd March 2010
The family of Paul Coker who died in police custody on 6th August 2005, today welcomed the verdict of the jury at Southwark Coroners’ Court which was highly critical of the care and treatment Mr Coker received from the police and the police doctor.
The jury found Mr Coker was suffering with a form of Excited Delirium (otherwise known as Acute Behavioural Disorder) which is a very serious condition and which can prove fatal unless treated straight away.
Police officers failed to recognise that Mr Coker was suffering with this condition and the jury found that this was because of failures in police training and also because of the failure of police officers to communicate properly with each other and with the police doctor.
The jury also found that the police doctor failed to carry out a timely and adequate assessment of Mr Coker and failed to instruct adequately the police regarding Mr Coker’s care.
Mr Coker’s mother, Patricia Coker, said, “This verdict is a condemnation of the failures of the police and the police doctor to care properly for my son when he was clearly very ill and in need of urgent medical attention. Had Paul been recognised as a medical emergency and taken straight to hospital there was a very good chance he would have survived and been with us today”.
Paul Coker died at Plumstead Police Station in the early hours of 6th August 2005 after being arrested at his girlfriend’s home at Waverley Crescent, London SE18, and following a struggle with police officers.
For further information please contact Darren White, of the family’s solicitors Deighton Guedalla, on 0207 713 9434.