Teenager falls to her death during police arrest
Compiled from various sources
submitted by: Tippa Naphtali – March 2014
Updates listed at the foot of this item
At around 9.30am on 10th April 2012 two plain clothes police attended an address in Hastings House, Mulgrave Road, London to carry out a routine arrest enquiry regarding a recall to prison of 18-year-old Shanice-Paris Goff. She was out on licence after serving part of a three year prison sentence for robbery and assault from May 2009.
This was said to be a pre-planned arrest enquiry and the officers who called at the address were allowed entry. Shortly after they entered the property, Shanice-Paris fell from a bedroom window on the 17th floor. Initial information suggests she was in the room alone.
She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her death was witnessed by children on the estate who screamed in horror.
Soon after the death the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) opened an investigation into the circumstances.
The IPCC would be investigating why the Met Police allowed Shanice-Paris Goff, 18, from Orpington, to be left alone in a bedroom at the flat in Woolwich shortly before she plunged to her death. It will also look at why officers attended and review accounts given to police by the male tenant and a female witness who were at the address.
IPCC Commissioner Sarah Green said: “At this time our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends of Ms Goff. This is a tragic and shocking incident in which a young woman has lost her life.
“Ms Goff’s family has today been advised of the IPCC involvement in the case and we will be meeting with them in coming days to more fully explain our role and our investigation.
“I would like to reassure the public that this will be a thorough and robust investigation.”
The incident was also referred to Scotland Yard’s directorate of professional standards.
The manner of Shanice-Paris’ death brought back horrifying memories for a mother, Jossette Fraser, whose son died in similar circumstances. Demetre Fraser, aged 21, died on 31st May 2011 after falling from a high-rise tower block in Birmingham. West Midlands Police officers claimed they had gone to check his tag after it alerted them he had breached his curfew conditions.
Family members, including Miss Shanice-Paris’ mother, broke down in tears as an inquest was formally opened at Southwark Coroner’s Court. The hearing was told Shanice-Paris had entered a bedroom of the flat to “get changed” before she fell from the window.
Detective Sergeant Sue Thomas, from the Metropolitan Police’s directorate of professional standards, told the court that Shanice-Paris had been released from prison on licence following a robbery offence and officers were sent to the flat to arrest her. But Miss Goff had not been arrested at the time of her fall.
She said: “Two police officers arrived at an address in Mulgrave Road to look for Shanice-Paris Goff, who was wanted for a recall to prison. They entered the address to find one male and two females, one of which was Miss Goff.
“While in the address, Miss Goff went to the bedroom to get changed and has fallen from the window.
“The flat is on the 17th floor and she has landed outside the premises.”
The mother of Shanice-Paris’ told how her daughter had been “turning her life around”. Speaking after the tragedy her mother, Millie Goff, demanded answers about how she died shortly after officers entered the flat.
The inquest heard how Shanice-Paris’ was allowed by officers to go into a bedroom of the flat in Woolwich to “get changed” moments before she fell or jumped from the window.
Her mother wept in court today as she was supported by other family members. Afterwards, she said: “Shanice had been troubled but she was turning her life around.
“She was in a good relationship and looking forward to summer. We miss her so much. We just want to know what happened”
Shanice-Paris Goff was ‘turning her life around’
17 April 2012