originally by: The Voice Online
published: 20 April 2013
Leslie Thomas, a barrister who has spent the past 20 years fighting for families whose loved ones have died while in police custody has been recognised for his work.
Thomas, of Garden Court Chambers, was named Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group following strong performances at high-profile inquests in 2012 including the death of Sean Rigg, who died following restraint at Brixton police station in 2008.
This year Thomas is set to take up what may be one of his biggest challenges to date. He will fight the cases, as lead barrister, at the inquests of Mark Duggan, whose death in 2011 sparked widespread rioting in London, and reggae musician Smiley Culture, real name David Emmanuel.
Smiley Culture died after [allegedly] stabbing himself in 2011 during a drugs raid by the police at his home.