An inquest jury found today that a catalogue of failures may have contributed to the death in police custody of a man after he was pepper-sprayed by officers.
Jacob Michael died on August 22 2011 aged 25 following arrest and restraint by police. He had called the police himself in an agitated state after telling his family he had been threatened.
When officers arrived at the house they forced their way into his bedroom, spraying pepper spray at him, whereupon Mr Michael ran out of the house and down the street.
The police pursued him, striking him with batons and restraining him before putting him in the back of a police van to take him into custody at Runcorn police station.
He was then left face down on the floor of a police cell for several minutes with police officers standing on his legs.
The four-week inquest heard that Mr Michael was a cocaine user who would occasionally "binge" on the drug and he had been taking it on the weekend prior to his arrest.
Mr Michael had been warned by doctors about the adverse effects cocaine could have on his heart, the inquest heard.
The jury at Warrington Coroner's Court, sitting at Daresbury Park Hotel, reached a verdict of death by misadventure.
Reading their narrative verdict, the coroner for Cheshire Nicholas Rheinberg said: "Partying and his heart's susceptibility to cocaine probably contributed to the death."
The "fear, flight and fight" response caused during the arrest "may have also contributed to the death."
The jury found that "ineffective" police training, procedural failures, failures to carry out a "timely assessment" and a lack of communication may also have been contributing factors.
Mr Michael's mother Ann said: "We believe that if the police had not stormed into Jacob's bedroom he would still be alive.
"Instead he died on the floor of Runcorn custody suite while handcuffed face down and with police officers treading on his legs."
Campaign group Inquest co-director Deborah Coles said: "Yet again, another inquest into a death following use of force has found failures at an individual and senior management level and those responsible must be held to account.
"Jacob Michael was an extremely vulnerable young man who called police for help and yet was subjected to cruel and degrading treatment."
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