Inquest into the death of Philmore Mills starts 8 February

Silverthorne Room, Reading Town Hall, RG1 1QH Before HM Senior Coroner Mr. Bedford

Starts on 8 February and expected to last until 4 March 2016.

Philmore Mills aged 57, was a patient being treated for pneumonia on the respiratory ward at Wexham Park Hospital, now known as Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, when he died on 27 December 2011, shortly after being restrained by two police officers and hospital security.  He was sitting in a chair when he was taken to the floor and handcuffed behind his back.

Philmore’s family who will be hearing evidence from hospital staff and management, police officers and security guards, hope that the inquest would explore issues such as:

  • Why Mr Mills’ behaviour was treated as a security issue and not a medical emergency
  • Why he was taken to the floor and handcuffed behind his back when he was just sitting in a chair
  • Why the restraint took place on a hospital respiratory ward without any consultation with or supervision by nurses or doctors

Family of Philmore Mills said:

“We have been fighting for justice for just over 4 years, as to how our father died.  It has been agonising and frustrating.  We feel that this could have been avoided and pray that the truth will be revealed during the inquest” 

Kate Maynard, family solicitor, Hickman & Rose said

“There will be tough questions for all those directly involved in the chain of events leading to the handcuffing of Mr Mills face down on the floor of the respiratory ward as he collapsed and died, and for their managers and employers.  The family hopes for full and fearless inquiry so that all their questions are answered.”

Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST said

“This is a deeply disturbing death of a 57 year old black man who was restrained face down by the police in a hospital where he was a patient having been admitted for breathing problems.  This inquest will need to carefully examine why police were called to the hospital in the first place, and why a very sick man who had just been discharged from ITU was restrained by police officers on a respiratory ward with no medical supervision.  More than 4 years on from his death, there must be the most robust and thorough scrutiny of this tragic death.”

INQUEST has been working with the family of Philmore Mills since January 2012.  The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members, Kate Maynard from Hickman and Rose Solicitors and Leslie Thomas from Garden Court Chambers.

For more information please contact Kate Maynard from Hickman and Rose Solicitors on 07812 974613 or Selen Cavcav from INQUEST on 0207 263 1111

Notes to editors:

INQUEST provides specialist advice on deaths in custody or detention or involving state failures in England and Wales.  This includes a death in prison, in police custody or following police contact, in immigration detention or psychiatric care.  INQUEST's policy and parliamentary work is informed by its casework and we work to ensure that the collective experiences of bereaved people underpin that work. Its overall aim is to secure an investigative process that treats bereaved families with dignity and respect; ensures accountability and disseminates the lessons learned from the investigation process in order to prevent further deaths.

Please refer to INQUEST the organisation in all capital letters in order to distinguish it from the legal hearing.