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Officers cleared after using force to arrest Hornchurch man who later died

Adam Fairbrass died in Queen’s Hospital two days after the incident 

Two police officers have been found to have acted “in accordance with the relevant policies” after they used force to arrest a man who later died in hospital.

Adam Fairbrass, 37, of Hornchurch, was detained by members of the public for 20 minutes after he reportedly tried to attack people at Top Meadow Golf Club, in North Ockendon, on 7 December 2019.

The officers handcuffed him when they arrived at the scene but a short time later they realised he had become unresponsive and removed his handcuffs so they could give him CPR.

The London Ambulance Service was called to the scene and rushed Mr Fairbrass to Queen’s Hospital, in Romford, where he died two days later.

An inquest at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court found he had died as a result of multi-organ failure following cardiac arrest and restraint in the presence of cocaine.

The jury concluded that members of the public had used unreasonable and disproportionate force before police arrived at the scene.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct launched their own investigation into the incident.

Investigators interviewed more than 30 witnesses and examined CCTV footage as well as the officers’ body-worn camera footage.

They found neither officer “committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner justifying the bringing of disciplinary proceedings”.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “Our thoughts are with Mr Fairbrass’s family, friends and all those affected by this tragic incident.

“Our evidence found both officers’ actions in initially applying handcuffs were in line with the information they were provided on arrival at the incident.

“As soon as they became aware they were now dealing with a medical emergency, they removed the handcuffs and provided emergency life support in accordance with their training. They also followed the instructions of the paramedics.

“We provided our evidence to HM Coroner to assist with the inquest proceedings, which we hope has helped answer some of Mr Fairbrass’s family’s questions about that tragic day.”

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