Met officer denies treating man with 'wanton disregard'

A Metropolitan police officer who was assaulted by a mentally ill man who later died in police custody has denied treating him with "wanton disregard" because he was angry, an inquest has been told.

PC Matthew Forward insisted that he had carefully monitored Sean Rigg at all times, and that he was conscious and responsive until shortly before he died in the caged area at Brixton police station in south London in August 2008.

PC Forward denied being part of a ruse to cover-up the fact Mr Rigg's had been badly treated and was unconscious at the police station for almost half an hour before a doctor was called. The officer was shown photographs taken by a pathologist after death which show three clusters of bruises and abrasions on Mr Rigg's face. PC Forward told the jury at Southwark Coroner's Court that he had not seen any visible injuries on Mr Rigg.

CCTV footage appeared to show several officers, including PC Forward, carrying out life-saving treatment on Mr Rigg while the Forensic Medical Examiner, a specialist GP, is seen hovering on the edges.

Leslie Thomas QC, acting for the Rigg family, asked: "You said you were struck twice in the head, did that make you angry... Is that why Mr Rigg was treated in that manner… with complete wanton disregard of his safety and well-being?"

He replied: "No sir that's not what happened."

"Looking at this now [the CCTV footage], do you think that you are offering the man the care he deserved?" he asked.

"Based on what we knew at the time, yes I do," answered PC Forward, who was giving evidence for a third day.

PC Forward also denied changing his version of events in order to match what his colleagues had said in their statements.

The barrister acting for the Metropolitan Police Service later asked him: "It has been suggested to you were part of a group of officers who put Mr Rigg into the recovery position for show for the custody sergeant... and after [he] left - you took him out of the recovery position."

"No sir, that did not happen," replied PC Forward. "I was carefully monitoring him."

The inquest continues.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week