IPCC clears officers over collapse
Thursday 19 May 2011
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."
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit