Dead addict `feigned illness'

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A policeman told an inquest yesterday that he thought a prisoner found dead in a cell had been feigning illness before his death.

PC David Ennis said he believed Leon Patterson, 31, had been trying to evade being interviewed over a shop robbery for which he had been arrested.

Patterson, a heroin addict, was found dead at Denton police station, Greater Manchester, four years ago.

A jury at an earlier inquest said that Patterson, of north London, had been unlawfully killed and that he should have been transferred to a prison hospital. It had heard the cause of death was "unascertainable".

But the police overturned the verdict in the High Court, which ordered a new hearing. Patterson's family allege he was beaten by officers. The inquest is expected to last two weeks.