Family speaks out in trial over death of Croydon riots prisoner


James Best
James Best

source: Wandsworth Guardian
published: 1 December 2015

Two NHS trusts breached the human rights of a Croydon man who died in prison weeks after being arrested for stealing gingerbread from a looted bakery during the 2011 riots, the High Court heard.

St George’s Healthcare and the London Ambulance Service (LAS) failed to urgently treat James Best after he suffered a heart attack at HMP Wandsworth four years ago, his family claim. The 37-year-old died in his cell on September 8, 2011 while awaiting sentencing for the theft.

His foster mother and brother launched legal action after learning of delays in his treatment at an inquest into his death at Westminster Coroner’s Court in 2013.

Their lawyers argue prison medics, employed by St George’s, were too slow to call 999 when Mr Best fell ill and that this was followed by an “unreasonable delay” in LAS dispatching paramedics to the jail.

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