Young man’s death in suspicious circumstances
Updates on this case listed at the foot of this item
Mogous Abay died at Chennai Street, London on 30 June 1990 in what members of his community considered to be suspicious circumstances. His brother, Alemseged, friends and supporters are convinced that Mogous did not commit suicide and they dispute the pathologist’s report that his death was caused by multiple injuries consistent with a fall from a great height.
In a petition led by campaigners they stated that they considered the conduct and investigation into the Mogous’ death being ‘riddled with inconsistencies and incompetence,’ and called for a public inquiry into his death. See the campaigns summary here >
They further stated that since 1990 there had been no serious police investigation into the death of Mogous. The police had claimed that Mogous had committed suicide by throwing himself from the fourth floor of his flat in London. Contrary to police reports several witnesses have signed statements insisting that Mogous had come to his death before any such fall.
His brother, Alemseged, friends and supporters were convinced that Mogous did not commit suicide and they disputed the pathologist’s report that his death was caused by multiple injuries consistent with a fall from a great height.
There is a particular concern about the police investigation in to Mogous’s death. The police claimed that they arrived at the scene to find Mogous lying in a pool of blood. However, no witness at the scene saw any blood, either on Mogous’s body or on his clothes, suggesting that he was dead before he fell. Police officers attending the scene claimed Mogous was still breathing, but a neighbour who covered his body disputes this.
Neighbours also report that they did not hear any sound at the time which would have indicated a body falling from over 30 feet. The Police did not carry out any forensic tests on the window from which Mogous is said to have jumped.
In November 1992 one eye witness (Irene Linnane) was quoated as saying; “I live at Flat 1, 9 Chenies Street, London WC1. Although I did not see the actual incident when Mr M Abay fall, I saw him immediately after the incident. At the time I was watching the television (I remember that a football match was on involving Scotland, where I was born) and I heard the noise I did not realise what I had heard but I came out of my flat and saw Mr Abay lying on the ground.
“There was no trace of any blood anywhere and it was obvious that he was dead. I live immediately underneath the flat where he lived at number 12. I knew Mr Abay who was a quiet man kept himself to himself. He was dressed in a thick dark green anorak type jacket. He was not breathing. I put a blanket around him and he must have been dead before the fall.”
When Alemseged asked for the return of his brother’s clothes, it is alleged that the police refused to give back the items claiming they had burnt them.
Dr Michael Heath certified the death as cardiac arrest and issued a certificate stating the cause of death cardiac arrest.
Neither the doctor in charge of the case, the duty nurse and the neighbours who were first on the scene were not called to give evidence. When Alemseged asked for the return of his brother’s clothes, the police refused to give back the items, claiming they had burnt them.
Mogous’ family have said; “We want the British public to be the judges of this wrongdoing. We live in the 21st century UK. We want justice loving people to join us in the fight against injustice. Someone has to take responsibility for the execution of Mogous Abay, but the actions of both the British legal aid and the IPCC have made it difficult to resume the case.”
Financial support was withdrawn from Alemseged in 1995 when the Legal Aid Board refused to support his application to take the case to the High Court.
The family and campaign supporters continue to demand that the Attorney General should agree to an application to the High Court for the inquest verdict to be quashed and for an order directing a coroner in the same administrative area to hold a fresh inquest in Mogous’ death, and that legal aid for the family should be restored in order to permit proper legal representation.
A Family spokesperson said; “Out of the 650 MPs we contacted in the House of Commons over the last 30 years, the only people who stood for justice of Mogous are the irreplaceable and unique, the late Tony Benn as well as Mr Jeremy Corbyn. Parliamentary protocol prevented them from defending justice – that protocol prevents an MP from engaging or using stationary and staff time to contact members of the public out of their constituency. The rest of the career politicians did not bother about the death of African refugee.”
They added; “Over the years we have made an emotional appeal to the British media. None of them were interested to write a story about this crime. It is very difficult to understand their judgement on which issue and subject they write. Maybe the story of Mogous does not sell newspapers.”
Public inquiry into the death of Mogous Abay
20 May 2017
Justice for Mogous Abay
27 April 2012