Radio Sandwell African / Caribbean News

Jimmy Mubenga: Heathrow deportee 'unlawfully killed'

2013-07-09 21:59:23

Jimmy Mubenga
Jimmy Mubenga collapsed on a plane at Heathrow Airport

A man being deported to Angola on a British Airways flight was unlawfully killed by guards who were restraining him, an inquest jury has found.

Jimmy Mubenga, 46, died after becoming ill as the aircraft prepared to leave Heathrow Airport in October 2010.

The father-of-five had been restrained by G4S security guards, an inquest jury at Isleworth Crown Court heard.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it would reconsider its decision not to bring charges over Mr Mubenga's death.

'Unreasonable force'

Mr Mubenga was being deported from the UK after serving a two-year prison sentence for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He was restrained by security guards Terence Hughes, Stuart Tribelnig and Colin Kaler, the inquest heard.

The jury found he died of cardio-respiratory collapse, in which the heart stops beating and a person stops breathing.

Adrienne Makenda Kambana: "I feel like Jimmy's resting
in peace now, because everything, it was behind the
door, now it's come out."

Other passengers said they heard Mr Mubenga saying he could not breathe, with one of the guards apparently replying: "Yes, you can."

Returning the verdict, the jury foreman said: "Based on the evidence we have heard, we have found Mr Mubenga was pushed or held down by one or more of the guards.

"We find that this was unreasonable force. The guards would have known that they would have caused harm to Mr Mubenga, if not serious harm."

'A good man'

Mr Mubenga's wife, Adrienne Makenda Kambana, said her husband had been treated "worse than an animal" on the flight.

She said: "What the witnesses said, they heard Jimmy asking for help. Nobody helped him.

"Jimmy should be here, but because he didn't get help, that's why he's not here."

Mrs Kambana added: "Every time they are deporting someone they need to put someone [there] to monitor them, how they are doing, how they are treating the deportee."

Jimmy Mubenaga

    • Force can legally be used but only as a last resort


    • It must be necessary and proportionate


    • Detainees can be handcuffed in the aircraft, or be
      subject to shoulder holds or arm locks


    • Heads can be restrained in an upright position


  • Parliament has called for the Home Office to look
    into control and restraint techniques suitable for use
    on an aircraft as there are currently no such rules

She said her husband was "a good man, a good friend, a loving husband" and his death had left a "big gap in the family".

A spokeswoman for G4S said: "The death of anyone in our care is deeply felt by all of us and the death of Mr Mubenga was a very tragic event."

She said welfare was a "top priority" and staff were trained, screened and vetted to the standards defined by the Home Office.

She added: "We believe that at all times we acted appropriately and in full compliance with the terms of our contract with UK Border Agency and it should be noted that the Crown Prosecution Service found no basis on which to bring criminal charges against G4S in this case."

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said it was now reconsidering that decision.

The Met Police said it had carried out a "thorough and complex 21-month investigation" into Mr Mubenga's death, which involved taking more than 300 witness statements from passengers, cabin crew, ground staff and first responders from emergency services.

It said three men, who were arrested in October 2010 were formally released on 17 July 2012 with no further action.

The unlawful killing verdict was delivered by a majority of nine to one after four days of deliberation following an eight-week hearing.


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