One year after the sudden death of hospital patient Philmore Mills, his grieving family still await the result of a incredibly slow moving Independent Police Complaints Commission ('IPCC') investigation.
57 year old Philmore died in the middle of the night in Wexham Park Hospital's ward 9 on Tuesday 27 December 2011. When nurses repeatedly failed to summon a hospital doctor to treat ill Philmore, the hospital amazingly called-in Thames Valley Police officers.
The police, untrained in clinical medicine and hospital procedures, did not have a clue how to provide clinical treatment to ill hospital patients, so they attacked defenceless and seriously ill Philmore.
The police pulled Philmore from his bedside chair, forced him face-down on the hospital floor then handcuffed his hands behind his back.
Unsurprisingly frail and weak Philmore did not resist his attackers. Eventually someone discovered that Philmore, who had to wear an oxygen mask, had stopped breathing. He was dead. Killed by the police attack.
The police's post-mortem examination produced results exonerating the police. However, Philmore's family fortuitously found an experienced pathologist who conducted an independent and very thorough second examination which rejected the conclusions of the first, the police's, pathologist and revealed significant new evidence which will be presented at the full Inquest into the tragic and avoidable death of victim Philmore Mills.
In the Slough Times opinion, suspicion of blame should not descend solely upon the police. Wexham Park Hospital Trust's senior management, clinical and administrative, must question their own control, knowledge and responsibility for all hospital policy and procedural failures. In the Slough Times opinion, the hospital's actions, or lack thereof, appear to have created a situation into which the police should never have ventured. This sad episode was avoidable. It was a tragedy which should never had happened but the tragedy was inevitable because of systemic weaknesses and failings in both organisations. It was only a matter of time before an innocent person was killed.
Habib Ullah, known as 'Paps', died in police custody. The circumstances of his death and the explanation for the 4.1/2 year delay for the English authorities to give a full account of their actions is baffling.
The police force involved was the same Thames Valley Police. Paps was apparently arrested, detained and restrained after a so-called 'stop and search' action by police officers in a car park at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. He was pronounced dead at 19:20 hours.
Paps' wife and two children continue to wait for justice - a justice that is surprisingly absent in a country that lectures other countries they should respect their citizens' Human Rights.
This forthcoming anniversary vigil, to mark one year since Philmore died in the custody and control of Thames Valley Police, is being shared with the family, friends and supporters of The Justice For Paps campaign.
The Vigil is being held outside Slough Police Station in Windsor Road, Slough Town Centre, on the corner of Chalvey Park (the road that leads to the Courts).
Car parking is possible in Chalvey Park (the road) and possibly on the other side of Windsor Road outside the office blocks. Traffic wardens pounce on cars in Chalvey Park so please bring some cash in case it is needed for the parking fee.
This vigil is the fourth held for Philmore. Although some people may feel annoyed and even angry, please remember this is a peaceful, polite and civil occasion to show our respect for the two unexplained deaths in police custody. The vigil is also to show the police and the other authorities that we genuinely care about what happens to ordinary members of the public.
Please wear a warm coat and bring gloves, in case it is frosty. Don't forget an umbrella and raincoat in case it rains.
Everyone, family, friends, colleagues and strangers are welcome. It will be great to meet you and to thank you for coming to show your concern and support for this important civil liberties case - The Right to Life.
Wishing you a Happy and a Peaceful Christmas.
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