BAME, refugee and migrant deaths in custody (2014 – 2021)

BAME, refugee and migrant deaths in custody (2014 – 2021)

Here we publish a list of BAME, refugee and migrant deaths in custody from 2014 – 2021 that took place in prison, in immigration detention or involving police. This list has been compiled by IRR, using IRR News coverage and media releases by the organisation Inquest. Read a comment piece on these statistics here.

List of deaths in custody 1991-1999 List of deaths in custody 2000 - 2014

BAME, refugee and migrant deaths in the UK involving the police, causing concern, since September 2014



22.12.14 Adrian McDonald (34) dies in Chesterton, Newcastle-under-Lyme in police van after being tasered and bitten by police dogs, following a house party; inquest jury says the level of force used, after he had taken cocaine, might have increased the stress that led to his death; two officers appeal against finding of misconduct.


3.5.15  Sheku Bayoh (32) dies from positional asphyxia in Kirkcaldy, Fife, after 5 officers restrained him, using batons, hand and leg cuffs, CS spray and pepper spray, 23 injuries on body; family concerned that no officers to face charges, full public inquiry announced, but yet to be held.

?.12.15   Jermaine Baker (28) shot dead by police marksman in Wood Green, London, during an alleged attempt to free a prisoner; officer not to face charges despite IOPC recommending gross misconduct proceedings; inquiry to be held in place of inquest.


13.7.16   Mzee Shemar Mohammed-Daley (18), who suffers from autism, dies following restraint by Liverpool private security guards and additional police during a psychotic episode in a Liverpool shopping centre; inquest verdict ‘natural causes’.

15.8.16   Dalian Atkinson (48) a former Aston Villa footballer, dies in Telford, after restraint, including taser, used by West Mercia police; inquest adjourned since two officers face charges of murder/manslaughter and Actual Bodily Harm.


2.1.17 Yassar Yaqub (28) was shot dead on the M62 near Huddersfield when the car he was travelling in was stopped by West Yorkshire police. The inquest into his death has still to be held. An investigation by the IOPC ruled against bringing disciplinary proceedings against any of the officers involved.

1.4.17   Leroy Junior Medford dies in the care of Thames Valley Police, having ingested heroin; inquest jury returns highly critical conclusion identifying individual and systemic failures by police officers who did not provide the care and emergency treatment that might have saved him.

15.6.17   Edson da Costa (25) dies in Beckton, London, from choking on a drug wrap after being restrained face-down, handcuffed, hit and sprayed with CS gas during a police search; inquest verdict ‘misadventure’; family lawyer calls for a review of first aid training and advice given to police officers for dealing with a person who is believed to have swallowed items.

19.7.17   Darren Cumberbatch (32) dies of multiple organ failure caused by ‘cocaine use associated to restraint’ in Warwickshire hospital 9 days after being restrained, during mental health crisis, by police in Nuneaton involving batons, 3 uses of tasers, punching, stamping; jury’s narrative conclusion at the inquest finds that the police’s restraint contributed to his death. A promised review of the death by IOPC is held up because transcript of inquest not yet made available.

22.1.17 Rashan Charles (20) dies in a Dalston shop following pursuit and ‘unorthodox’ restraint by police support officer and ingesting caffeine and paracetamol; inquest verdict of accidental death (after other possibilities ruled out by coroner) with a jury rider that the police had not taken appropriate action for what was a medical emergency.

24.11.17   Nuno Cardoso (25) dies in a police van of cardio-respiratory arrest combined with drug ingestion following restraint and use of batons in his arrest by Thames Valley Police at Ruskin College Oxford; inquest returns narrative verdict and criticism by Inquest and family as to why he was being taken to a police station rather than a much nearer hospital when his situation suggested a medical emergency.


9.3.18   Kevin Clarke (35) dies in hospital following a restraint by up to 9 officers during a mental health episode on a Lewisham Street in London. The Coroner has agreed that the IOPC report into the conduct of the officers can be withheld from the inquest.

31.3.18   Oghene Abboh (26) dies from organ failure after ingesting drugs at Walworth police station, London, during a search by Southwark police; inquest returns a narrative verdict; IOPC rules out misconduct by officers.

25.5.18   Cameron Whelan (26) drowns in Avon after police chase him (thinking he matches a wanted man) and incapacitating spray is threatened; inquest verdict of ‘misadventure’ disappoints family critical of fact that officer did not go to save him.

7.7.18   Andre Moura (30) dies (cause not yet established) after being detained by Greater Manchester Police in Oldham during a domestic ‘breach of the peace’, CS gas used and IOPC refers 5 officers to CPS on assault and ABH charges.


15.3.19   Trevor Smith (52) shot dead in Birmingham flat as a team of West Midlands Police firearms officers execute a warrant at 5am.


20.5.20   Simeon Francis (35) dies (cause not yet established) in Torquay station custody suite; IOPC examining care given whilst he was detained by Devon and Cornwall police.


9.01.2021 Mohamud M Hassan (24) a Somali is found dead at home a day after being arrested by South Wales police; the IOPC are investigating the conduct of a number of officers.

17.02.2021 Moyied Bashir (29) dies at the Grange University Hospital following physical restraints being used when police were called during a medical episode at a house in Newport.


BME, refugee and migrant deaths in prison, causing concern, since September 2014


25.12.15   Ondgej Suha (19) Slovakian, who had lived in UK since 4-years-old, in Brinsford young offenders’ institution, takes his own life after receiving letter suggesting he is liable for deportation following his sentence. Despite attempting suicide before and seeing his cellmate try to do so, too, he was not on suicide watch at time of death.

11.1.16   Sarah Reed (32) is found hanged in HMP Holloway on remand awaiting psychiatric reports; inquest verdict notes she did not receive adequate treatment for her levels of distress, considering she was known to be severely mentally ill.

19.7.16   Natasha Chin (39) with alcohol and drug dependence issues dies in HMP Bronzefield; inquest verdict notes neglect and systemic failures by prison and healthcare providers contributed to the death.

2.9.16   Jamal Hussein (32) is found hanged in HMP Manchester; inquest verdict ‘misadventure’ since he had been bullied and threatened and family had tried to get these concerns taken up by staff.

6.9.17   Annabella Landsberg (45) dies lying on a floor of a segregation cell in HMP Peterborough for 21 hours, after being restrained. She was diagnosed with HIV and type 2 diabetes and found at death to be severely dehydrated. The inquest jury finds ‘failings on the part of the prison, healthcare staff, GPs and custody officers that contributed to the death’.

27.9.17   Anthony Solomon (38) dies in HMP Nottingham, having taken a synthetic cannaboid; jury returns narrative conclusion at inquest highlighting failure to answer cell bell (40 instead of 5 minutes) and prevalence of drugs in the prison.

26.2.18   Tyrone Givans  takes his own life in HMP Pentonville, he is deaf, depressed and an alcoholic; inquest finds systemic failures and missed opportunities contributed to death.

19.7.18   Rocky Stenning (26) takes his own life in Chelmsford Prison, 9 days after arriving; inquest finds a failure to assess his mental state and see him as a suicide risk contributed to death.

10.10.18      Osman Ali Hassan (45) dies in HMP Wandsworth; inquest finds that since he suffered from hypertension, not enough was done to control this and the poor healthcare contributed to his death

BAME, refugee and migrant deaths in immigration detention, causing concern, since September 2014


20.4.15   Pinakin Patel (33) Pakistani, dies at Yarl’s Wood IRC, heart attack; held after arriving at Heathrow and holiday story disbelieved

7.8.15   Thomas Kirungi (30) Ugandan, dies at The Verne IRC; suicide after asylum claim refused


17.2.16   Amir Siman Tov (30s) Moroccan, in Colnbrook IRC, found dead, though on suicide watch, ‘misadventure’ verdict and critical narrative conclusion that there had not been proper medical care

1.12 16   Tarek Chowdhury (64) Bangladeshi, in Colnbrook IRC, murdered by mentally ill and violent fellow detainee; inquest verdict ‘unlawful killing’ and criticism of either man being in immigration detention and lack of assessment of assailant.

6.12.16   Bai Bai Ahmed Kabia (49) Sierra Leonean, had been held in indefinite detention pending deportation as a foreign national prisoner for two years, in Morton Hall IRC, dies from brain haemorrhage; inquest finds opportunity missed to diagnose and treat him, which could have prevented death


11.1 17   Lukasz Debowski (27) Polish, in Morton Hall, found hanged

9.4.17   Branko Zdravkovic (43) in Verne IRC, found hanged

7.9.17    Marcin Gwozdzinski (28) Polish, in Harmondsworth IRC, suicide

19.9.17   Un-named man Chinese, in Dungavel, Scotland, found dead

3.10.17   Carlington Spencer (38) Jamaican, in Morton Hall, dies from stroke, series of failings in medical care identified at inquest

19.11.17   Arim Bakar (27) Iraqi, in Morton Hall, suicide

7.12.17   Michal Netyks (35) Polish, held in Altcourse Prison pending deportation, suicide


12.3.18   Nancy Motsamai (35) South African, dies of a pulmonary embolism five days after a deportation attempt during which she was estimated by officials to be feigning illness.

30.6.18 Mustafa Dawood, 23, Sudanese, dies from a fall during an immigration raid


12.9.19   Oscar Okwurime (34) Nigerian, Harmondsworth, found dead, family and friends claim he had not received medical care though staff knew he was ill.


26.6.2020 Badreddin Abadlla Adam (28) a Sudanese asylum seeker is shot dead by police, following an episode in which he committed a series of stabbings in Park Hotel, Glasgow