Gardner 'was dead at home after collapse'

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The Independent Online
JOY GARDNER was apparently dead when ambulance officers arrived at her home after she collapsed while being restrained by deportation squad police, according to the London Ambulance Service.

The disclosure appears to confirm claims by her family that the effective point of death was at the house, which they say underlines the amount of force used by police.

According to London ambulance officials, when the ambulance arrived at Mrs Gardner's home in Crouch End, north London, at 8.15am on 28 July she had none of the four 'vital signs' of life: pulse, breathing, blood pressure and eye movement. Officials said paramedics employed a full 'cardio-pulmonary resuscitation routine', involving three types of drugs.

By 8.40am, Mrs Gardner's pulse had been restarted and she arrived at Whittington hospital six minutes later. The hospital said Mrs Gardner was 'breathing with difficulty'; she was put on a ventilator, but never regained consciousness and the machine was switched off five days later.

The raid by officers from the Metropolitan Police and a Home Office immigration official was to enforce a deportation order. Three of the officers and the work of the squad have been suspended and a review is taking place of deportation procedures.

Police have confirmed that a restraining body belt was used; it is also known that some kind of adhesive bandage was bound around her head as a gag.

An official post-mortem examination concluded she died from lack of oxygen and tests are being conducted to establish what was responsible. Yesterday, two further examinations were conducted at the Whittington by pathologists acting on behalf of Mrs Gardner's family and for the three suspended officers.

Bernie Grant, the Labour MP for Tottenham, said last night that the family would probably release details of their examination, conducted by a leading pathologist, Dr Iain West of Guy's Hospital, at a later date.