Oxford

Nuno Cardoso inquest: Student 'struck by police baton'

Nuno Cardoso Image copyright Nuno Cardoso
Image caption Nuno Cardoso had promised his mother he would become "the best lawyer in the country"

A law student who died in custody was struck by a police baton while being arrested, an inquest has heard.

Nuno Cardoso, 25, from Kentish Town in north London, was arrested at Ruskin College in Oxford in November 2017.

Jurors at an inquest into his death saw video footage of him being wrestled to the ground by police after reports of him possessing a knife and attacking students.

He became unresponsive in a police van and died later in hospital.

Senior coroner Darren Salter said Thames Valley Police officers had arrested Mr Cardoso at his student accommodation early on 24 November.

The inquest heard in a van on the way to Abingdon police station he became "unresponsive" and officers had to start CPR.

A post-mortem examination concluded the cause of death was cardiorespiratory arrest due to combined intoxication from alcohol, cocaine and morphine.

Image copyright Nuno Cardoso
Image caption Nuno Cardoso was studying law at Ruskin College in Oxford

The Independent Office for Police Conduct conducted an investigation into Mr Cardoso's arrest, jurors were told.

Police body-worn camera footage was played to jurors showing Mr Cardoso being wrestled to ground near a staircase and lying face down with an officer sitting on his legs.

The court heard a statement from Darren Armstrong, then-head of student services at Ruskin College, who said he witnessed an officer "strike Nuno in the back of the knee with a baton".

He said police were non-aggressive, calm and civil and he thought Mr Cardoso did not look "unwell".

Mr Armstrong said a knife was found in Mr Cardoso's jacket, while another knife also appeared on the floor during the arrest.

The inquest heard statements from students who said before he was arrested Mr Cardoso punched a student in the face, with one saying his behaviour was "all very out of character".

The court heard Angola-born Mr Cardoso had a history of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

A statement from his mother Doroteia Dos Santos said he had promised her he would become "the best lawyer in the country".

His loss led to "shattering hearts to the point of despair" and "hundreds" of people had attended a memorial for him in London, she said.

The inquest continues.

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