Police restraint contributed to Leon Briggs death, jury finds

Leon Briggs vigil

source: The Guardian
published: 12 March 2021

The way in which police officers restrained a man with drug-induced psychosis “more than minimally” contributed to his death in Luton in 2013, an inquest jury in Milton Keynes has found by unanimous verdict.

Leon Briggs, a 39-year-old father of two of mixed ethnic background, was a lorry driver and also taught computer skills to older people. His family described him as “a loving brother and father, caring and genuine”.

He was detained under the Mental Health Act and taken to Luton police station on 4 November 2013. Briggs died about two hours later at Luton & Dunstable hospital as a result of “amphetamine intoxication in association with prone restraint and prolonged struggling”, with a secondary cause of heart disease, the senior coroner Emma Whitting has previously said.

His family said the fact that the inquest, which began on 4 January 2021, had taken seven years to complete compounded their grief and distress over his loss.

The 10 members of the jury were asked to consider findings of unlawful killing and neglect. They rejected unlawful killing and found neglect.

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