IPCC investigation into the death of Olaseni Lewis quashed by High Court

Olaseni Lewisoriginally by: INQUEST 
published: 4 September 2013

The High Court has quashed the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into the death of Olaseni (‘Seni’) Lewis, paving the way for a fresh investigation into his death.

Seni Lewis was 23 years old when he died following prolonged restraint at the Bethlem Royal Hospital in South London on 31 August 2010. He was a successful graduate with a degree in IT and plans for further postgraduate study.

In August 2010 he was physically well and had no history of mental illness. But within 48 hours of beginning to exhibit uncharacteristically odd and agitated behaviour – and within 18 hours of being brought to hospital – he was all but dead, having collapsed in the course of prolonged restraint involving 11 police officers of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). He never regained consciousness, and he was eventually pronounced dead four days later, on 4 September 2010.

From its outset, the original IPCC investigation into the death sought to rule out the possibility that the circumstances might disclose disciplinary or criminal wrongdoing on the part of the officers involved in the fatal restraint.

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