Coventry & Warwickshire

Darren Cumberbatch Tasered and punched by police, inquest hears

Darren Cumberbatch Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Darren Cumberbatch died in hospital from multi-organ failure

A man who died days after being restrained by police was punched 15 times by officers who also used a baton and a Taser on him, his inquest heard.

Darren Cumberbatch was described as "lashing out" from a toilet cubicle in a bail hostel when police moved in using incapacitating spray.

He was eventually restrained in July 2017, after being punched. He died nine days later.

PC Stephen Jones told the inquest he was aware restraint could be dangerous.

He was one of seven officers called to bail hostel Macintyre House in Nuneaton on 10 July 2017.

Mr Cumberbatch was reportedly behaving irrationally in the toilet block.

Giving evidence, Mr Jones said it was "obvious" he was under the influence of something as the way he was acting "wasn't normal".

"My view was that if tried to grab him, he was physically stronger than me, I would lose," he told the hearing at Warwickshire Justice Centre.

Image caption Mr Cumberbatch was restrained at Macintyre House in Nuneaton

The officers decided to use a Taser. One officer fired first with Mr Jones then firing twice.

It did not stop Mr Cumberbatch so Mr Jones and two other constables then went into the cubicle.

Mr Jones said he used incapacity spray, struck Mr Cumberbatch on the nose with the palm of his hand and hit him with his baton.

None of the actions was successful and Mr Cumberbatch was only restrained after he was punched by another officer between and 10 and 15 times, the inquest heard.

Mr Jones admitted he had considered Mr Cumberbatch was suffering from Acute Behavioural Disorder and he knew that restraint and the use of a Taser could be dangerous, even fatal.

He told the inquest the reason the same phrases appeared in his and another officers report about the incident was because he needed help to fill in the form about using a Taser.

The hearing continues.

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