Sean Rigg inquest: Inspector defends custody handling
Published: 20th Jul 2012 20:57:57
A police inspector in charge of a group of officers when a schizophrenic man died in custody has said he would act "exactly the same" under similar circumstances.
Physically fit Sean Rigg, 40, was held by police after he attacked passers-by in Balham, south London, in 2008.
Southwark Coroner's Court heard he was not treated with extra care despite information about his mental health.
He died at Brixton police station in south London.
The court heard that Inspector Andrew Dunn saw a number of computer-aided dispatches (CADs) which referred to Mr Rigg by name, and that he had mental health issues.
But the section sergeant, who saw Mr Rigg in a cage in the back of a police van at the police station after he was arrested on August 21, said he did not marry together pieces of information that would have shown the detainee was at risk.
He told the inquest he was unaware that the man his officers had arrested was Mr Rigg, and did not recognise him from a description when he saw him in handcuffs in the back of the vehicle.
Dr Andrew Harris, Coroner for Inner South London District, asked Mr Dunn if he thought he should have asked the junior PCs who arrested Mr Rigg if he showed any signs of mental problems.
Mr Dunn replied: "The circumstances that were apparent to me at the time, I didn't feel a pressing need to ask that question."
The coroner said: "It was feasible that medical treatment may have been needed?"
The officer said: "At that moment in time there was not a need."
Mr Dunn said he had been trained in dealing with detainees with mental health issues, and he was aware of the protocol of taking a person to hospital if they violently resisted arrest in a prolonged manner.
The coroner said Mr Rigg had clearly resisted arrest and was violent, because he had punched an arresting officer.
Mr Rigg had a 20-year history of mental illness following a bad acid trip and was a black belt in karate.
He had destroyed a gazebo in his hostel's garden in Fairmount Road, Brixton, that afternoon.
He was later seen practising martial arts moves before becoming involved in a series of altercations with passers-by.
The inquest previously heard that Mr Rigg had not been taking his medication for two months and had a history of problems with the law, both in the UK and abroad.
After Mr Rigg was seen by Mr Dunn, he fell ill and was seen by a doctor.
An ambulance was called but before it arrived his condition deteriorated and he was given CPR.
He was formally pronounced dead in hospital later that night.
Asked by a member of the jury panel if he would have done anything differently four years ago, Mr Dunn said: "It's difficult with hindsight. The circumstances that were there at the time, I have to say I would have done exactly the same."
The inquest continues.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Sean Rigg inquest: Inspector defends custody handling. [Online] (Updated 20 Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.manchesterwired.co.uk/news.php/1441833-Sean-Rigg-inquest-Inspector-defends-custody-handling [Accessed 18th May 2013]
At 09:57:51 in OtherHundreds are expected at a Cardiff rally later on Saturday before planned strike action over school changes....
At 20:28:08 in OtherThe extradition of one of Britain's most wanted fugitives has been delayed by an investigation into separate charges by Spanish police....
At 19:01:15 in OtherA conman dubbed the "King of Marbella" and his three accomplices have been jailed over a £675,000 bank fraud....
At 18:27:17 in OtherFriends of a violin teacher found dead at home after giving evidence against a couple who sexually abused her are playing a concert in her h...
At 17:48:13 in OtherA 46-year-old man has been jailed for life for the murder of a fellow Ukrainian at a Salford flat on New Year's Day....
At 14:35:14 in OtherCoronation Street actor Michael Le Vell has pleaded not guilty to 19 sexual offences against a child....
At 13:29:31 in OtherAn engineer from Greater Manchester was unlawfully killed by his kidnappers in Nigeria minutes after a UK-led rescue operation stormed in, a...
At 12:34:54 in OtherA man has been rescued by neighbours from a Manchester flat after becoming so "engrossed" in a crossword he failed to notice a chi...
At 11:16:53 in OtherA council has been called "ludicrous" for considering spending nearly £800,000 on leasing a drive-through coffee shop....
At 11:07:08 in OtherA company director is one of eight people charged with drug dealing by officers investigating a £3.8m internet-based drugs ring....
News In Other Categories
It's the time of year where students are poring over their books, trying to ensure they are prepared for their exams....
The Swedish city of Malmo is gearing up to host the Eurovision Song Contest final with 26 countries set to perform for millions of TV viewer...
The education secretary is like a "fanatical personal trainer" who urges schools to jump higher and run faster, a head teachers...
World Whisky Day, which was created by a University of Aberdeen student last year, is being held for a second time....
The European Commission is to ban the use of refillable bottles and dipping bowls of olive oil at restaurant tables from next year....
Computers and smartphones have become a "digital dummy" used by parents to pacify their children, says a head teachers' leade...