On 22 August 2011, Jacob Michael died on the floor of Runcorn custody suite. One year on, his family is preparing for the resumption of the inquest into his death, starting on 1 October 2012.
The inquest is listed to take place at the Danesbury Park Hotel, Warrington, over a period of 4 or 5 weeks. It will be presided over by Her Majesty’s Coroner for Cheshire, Mr Nicholas Rheinberg. More than 50 witnesses are listed to give evidence including Jacob’s mother, civilian eye witnesses and police officers.
On the first day of the inquest, the jury will be shown CCTV film of Jacob Michael being pursued by police officers wielding batons in the street outside his home, being transported in the police van, arriving at the custody suite and then being held face down on the cell floor where he died.
Jacob’s mother Ann Michael says:
“I cannot come to terms with the death of my son, a fit 25 year old, in the custody of the police where he should have been safe. Jacob was frightened and confused, and he called the police himself for help, but officers decided to arrest him using considerable force and they restrained him for a prolonged period. I am looking forward to hearing the police officers properly account to me for how they treated him and how my son died in their hands”.
The family’s solicitor, Kate Maynard, says:
“The family look forward to being able to participate in inquest proceedings which will be open and transparent, unlike the IPCC investigation. They hope that finally they will hear in person from all the police officers who had contact with or were responsible for Jacob as he died.”
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The family is represented by Kate Maynard of Hickman and Rose and Adam Sandell of Matrix Chambers.