The widow of Jimmy Mubenga, the Angolan man who died after being physically restrained on a deportation flight, said she was shocked and disappointed by the acquittal of three private security guards who were charged with his killing. Terrence Hughes, 53, Colin Kaler, 52 and Stuart Tribelnig, 39, worked for G4S on contract to the Home Office, and were accused of manslaughter by forcing the 46-year-old father s head down and restricting his breathing as a British Airways flight prepared to take off at Heathrow airport on 12 October 2010. A jury at the Old Bailey cleared them of the charges on Tuesday after a six-week trial.
For the last four years I have fought for justice for Jimmy and our five children, said Adrienne Makenda Kambana. It is hard for me to understand how the jury reached this decision with all the overwhelming evidence that Jimmy said over and over that he could not breathe. Mubenga was restrained by the three guards after becoming aggressive as the deportation flight prepared to take off at Heathrow. The Old Bailey heard that fellow passengers said Mubenga cried out: I can t breathe, as he was pinned down in his seat, despite already being handcuffed from behind with his seatbelt on.
The jury was not told that an inquest last year returned a verdict of unlawful killing in the case. Neither was the jury told that the inquest had heard that two of the guards Hughes and Tribelnig had a string of racist jokes on their phones. Hughes s phone had 65 texts containing what the coroner, Karon Monaghan QC, said contained very racially offensive material . The case has sparked calls for immediate reforms of the UK s system of forced deportations.
I am going to start a campaign to stop this happening again, Kambana told the Guardian during the trial. I will ask the Home Office to make sure there is an independent monitor on each deportation so they can observe what is going on. I can t stand by and watch this happen to another family. I have to do that for Jimmy.
Amnesty International UK and the Migrants Rights Network, organisations that campaign against abuse in the UK s deportation system, also called on the Home Office to initiate a radical overhaul of its systems.
We simply don t know which of these [dangerous restraint techniques] are still being used today or if the UK government has actually delivered on its promise to introduce new and safer methods and training, said Oliver Sprague, Amnesty s security expert. Jerome Phelps, director of Detention Action, said: Once again a migrant has lost their life in detention, and once again no one will ultimately be held to account. A Home Office spokesman described Mubenga s death as a tragedy for those involved and said our thoughts are with Jimmy Mubenga s family .
We expect the highest standards of professionalism and conduct from our staff and contractors, he said. Our policy has always been that restraint during removals should only be used as a last resort. Our new bespoke training package for aircraft removals, approved in June this year, will better equip our staff with practical tools to minimise the need for restraint and ensure that only the most appropriate techniques are used.
Mark Dennis QC, prosecuting, had told the Old Bailey that Mubenga was fit and healthy and cooperative before boarding the extradition flight, but he had become upset after talking on his mobile phone in the toilet cubicle. The court also heard he became aggressive. The guards were alleged to have responded by handcuffing him behind his back, forcing him into a seat and pinning him down in a forward-leaning position that affected his ability to breathe. Dennis said: Each officer would have known from their training and from common sense that keeping someone in such a position was likely to cause a person harm, yet they did so over a prolonged period and did so ignoring shouts from Mr Mubenga that he was in trouble.
I can t breathe shouts were heard by many a passenger seated further away.
By the time the guards realised Mubenga was in a critical state, it was too late and he had gone into cardiac arrest, Dennis said. The guards said in court that they had not heard Mubenga say he could not breathe and had not pushed his head down and forward towards his knees in a position known to risk asphyxia. They said they had been restraining him to stop him hurting himself or other passengers on the plane. The guards were tearful as they left the dock following the verdict, and said in a statement through their solicitor that they were delighted to have been found not guilty so quickly .
They bitterly regret the death of Mr Mubenga, but have always said they were trying to do a very difficult job in difficult circumstances to the best of their ability, said Alex Preston of Olliers Solicitors. They are grateful to the judge and jury for the care they have taken resolving these sad events.
A G4S spokesman said: Providing a safe and caring environment for those in our custody or care is a priority for G4S. The death of Mr Mubenga was a tragic incident and our thoughts and condolences remain with his family and friends. We note the criminal case which has been under way at the Old Bailey in relation to Mr Mubenga s death and three former employees. We respect the legal process and the findings of the court. Speaking before the verdict, Mubenga s widow said: It has been so hard. I am trying to be a mother and father at the same time as fighting this. The children miss their father every day they are trying to discover the world without his guiding hand. Blessing, who was just six months old when Jimmy died, asks me: Who is that man in the picture next to you, Mummy? She will never know him. Mark Scott, solicitor for Mubenga s family, attacked the length of time the criminal justice process had taken.
Deborah Coles, the co-director of Inquest, which has been supporting the family, called for a new mechanism for state institutions and the private companies they employ to be held to account when people die.
She said: It is difficult to reconcile the verdict with the evidence heard at the trial that over 20 people heard Jimmy Mubenga say I can t breathe .
Amnesty International UK says the affair has raised five unanswered questions:
Are security guards still using restraint methods that impair breathing?
Has the UK government introduced scenario-based training suitable for aircraft for security guards?
Have they delivered on their promise made in 2011 to require private security companies to introduce new safer restraint methods?
Are guards now required to undergo mandatory training in the safe use of handcuffs during deportations? As far as Amnesty knows it is still only an optional element to their accreditation.
An inquest last year found that Jimmy Mubenga was unlawfully killed. Who will be held accountable for his death?
NEWARK (PIX11) Police are investigating a shooting in Newark that left a 26-year-old man dead.
Devin Grimes was shot by an armed UPS security guard Saturday, Dec.
13 around 4:28 a.m. Grimes was transported to University Hospital where he died Monday at 3:20 p.m.
During an initial investigation, police said the guard was sitting in a vehicle at 64 Gould Avenue when two males approached him. One of the males displayed a handgun and ordered him to get out of the car.
While exiting the car, the security guard discharged his weapon out of fear for his life.
Grimes was rushed to University Hospital while the other suspect fled in a white pickup truck.
Police said the shooter is a retired Union City police officer.
Charges have not been filed as the investigation remains active and ongoing.
The actions of the security guard will likely be presented to a grand jury, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas S.
A security guard was threatened with a hammer by two robbers who then stole a cashbox from a branch of Nationwide. Police are appealing for information after the robbery at the building society in Wallsend1. Two men, wearing dark clothing and scarves covering their faces, threatened a security guard with a hammer on Monday.
They stole a cashbox from the guard containing an amount of money and ran off down High Street East towards Woodbine Terrace. The security guard was left uninjured but shaken. Enquiries are ongoing into the incident and police are appealing for anyone who was in the area on Monday evening and who saw anything or anyone suspicious to contact them on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference number 1069 15/12/14.
Extra officers are in the area around Wallsend this morning carrying out extra patrols and enquiries.
Anyone with any concerns can speak to them.