Oxford

Nuno Cardoso inquest: Custody death student 'resisted arrest'

Nuno Cardoso Image copyright Nuno Cardoso
Image caption Nuno Cardoso's friends were concerned about his "psychological state" before his arrest

A policeman has told an inquest he used his baton on an Oxford law student who later died in custody because he was resisting arrest.

Nuno Cardoso, 25, from Kentish Town in north London, was arrested on suspicion of assault and possessing two knives at Ruskin College in November 2017.

PC Robert Prout told Oxford Coroner's Court he struck the student on his buttocks and thigh two to three times.

The officer also said he felt Mr Cardoso was taunting him.

En route to Ruskin College, PC Prout discovered Mr Cardoso's name was in the police system, he said.

The check revealed warning markers about firearms and a history of violence against the police.

PC Prout said Mr Cardoso resisted arrest which led to him using his baton.

The aim was to get the student to comply as he was refusing to remove his hands from under his chest, the court heard.

PC Prout described a brief wrestle in which Mr Cardoso ended up on the ground with him on top.

But he denied excessive force was used and said police were concerned he had a weapon. Two knives were recovered from the scene.

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

PC Prout told the jury Mr Cardoso "looked defeated and upset he'd been arrested' as he was put in a police van.

Paraphernalia relating to cannabis use was found in Mr. Cardoso's room and later in the evening a lump of the drug was found in his mouth, but PC Prout said there was no indication it was there at the time of arrest.

He said he "honestly believed he didn't have the opportunity to put anything in his mouth" and that Mr Cardoso had "overemphasised having something in his mouth to taunt us".

On the way to Abingdon police station two other officers reported the student had collapsed and they started giving him CPR at Redbridge Park and Ride.

They retrieved a lump of cannabis "about the size of a golf ball" from his mouth, PC Prout said.

The officer said he believed "taking him to Abingdon police station was the most suitable thing" and that "custody was the right place for Mr Cardoso".

He died later in hospital.

The inquest previously heard that friends had been worried about his state of mind.

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

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