BBC News

Kevin Clarke death: Mural created of man who died in police custody

image copyrightPA Media
image captionKevin Clarke would have celebrated his birthday next week

A mural of a man who died in custody has been unveiled opposite Lewisham Police Station in south-east London.

Kevin Clarke, who had schizophrenia, was surrounded and restrained by officers in a field in March 2018.

An inquest into his death has heard he "lost consciousness" as he was led to an ambulance.

The 35-year-old's mother Wendy Clarke described the mural as a "fitting tribute", as the inquest continued at Southwark Coroner's Court.

Mrs Clarke said: "This mural means a lot to us, and we hope will bring more awareness of the experiences of our family and too many others.

"As we go through the inquest into Kevin's death, it is a fitting tribute to moments in his life.

"We hope that soon the inquest will provide us with the answers we and the community need, and will encourage positive change to protect people like Kevin in future."

image copyrightInquest
image captionKevin Clarke was handcuffed twice when he collapsed

The inquest previously heard Mr Clarke had been seen acting erratically by officers earlier that day in Lewisham, but was not detained despite concerns from staff at his residential housing block.

Bodyworn footage played in the inquest showed the moment Mr Clarke was restrained by officers and put in two sets of handcuffs.

Giving evidence on Monday PC Danielle Barnes said communication between the Met officers and London Ambulance Service (LAS) medics "could and should have been better".

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionMr Clarke lived at the Jigsaw Project, a residential support service

She said Mr Clarke might not have intended to be violent to officers, but when told the court "when someone is suffering from acute behavioural disorder (ABD) they are unpredictable".

Ms Barnes added: "[The situation] was escalated to the ambulance to arrive earlier than they did.

"There was obviously a discussion about trying to get a vehicle into the field. It was extremely muddy that day.

"It doesn't show how difficult it was... I would have thought the ambulance crew would have spoken up."

PC Barnes said she "could not recall" being asked any questions by LAS during the incident.

The inquest continues.

Related Topics

  • Lewisham
  • Metropolitan Police Service
  • Catford

More on this story

  • Kevin Clarke: Man who died in custody said 'I can't breathe'