IPCC clears officers over collapse

Three police officers did all they could to save a woman who died after collapsing in a locked toilet, the police watchdog said today.







Sushma Kaur, 25, collapsed at her home in Gordon Street, Ilford, east London, on January 23, 2009 after being given a preliminary diagnosis of epilepsy following several incidents of losing consciousness.



Following an investigation into the involvement of Metropolitan Police officers who were unable to reach her immediately due to the locked door, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) concluded they did everything they could to try to reach her.



Ms Kaur's nine-year-old son alerted a neighbour that she had collapsed inside a locked toilet, and they called police and the ambulance service when they could not open it themselves.



When police arrived they too were unable to open the door and had to wait until other officers with specialist equipment arrived.



Ms Kaur was taken to King George Hospital but could not be resuscitated and was pronounced dead at 6.20pm.



At the inquest into her death in February last year a consultant neurologist said he believed she would still have been alive if police had broken the door down and reached her immediately.



The coroner took the decision to adjourn the inquest and requested that the Metropolitan Police Service refer the case to the IPCC.



The subsequent investigation found that the first officer arrived at the scene three minutes after the initial 999 call and banged on the door and tried to get into the bathroom.



A short time later two other officers arrived and also tried to get the door open.



They then looked for other ways of accessing the room and for tools that may help but at 4.58pm they called for specialist equipment.



The equipment arrived at approximately 5.10pm and the door was opened immediately.



Officers helped ambulance staff to get Ms Kaur out of the flat and into the ambulance.



The neighbour who called police described the officers who tried to get the door open from the moment they arrived as "brilliant".



She told the IPCC: "I hadn't expected them to turn up so fast. I felt the officers were in control of everything, they were in control but they were also calm. There were in control of the situation, they were there to do their job and they did it well."



A member of London Ambulance Service also said: "There was a clear sense of urgency to get in, the police could not have done more."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
tv

First full-length look is finally here

Life and Style
life
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Film director Martin Scorsese
film
News
news

The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president

Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballI have never seen the point of lambasting the fourth official, writes Paul Scholes
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee