INQUEST response to Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah police misconduct hearing
15 June 2015
Habib “Paps” Ullah, a 39 year old father of three, died when he was stopped and searched by police on 3 July 2008 in the Sharrow Vale area of High Wycombe. In the course of being forcibly restrained, Habib suffered a cardiac arrest. In March 2015 a jury returned a comprehensive and highly critical misadventure and narrative conclusion in relation to the level of force used to restrain Habib Ullah and the lack of appropriate after care provided by police.
Almost seven years later and after two inquests into his death a misconduct hearing took place in Newbury. This is only one of two public misconduct hearings under the old regulations. In future all such hearings will be held in public after the directive that the Home Secretary’s decision last year.
In response to the outcome of the misconduct hearing Deborah Coles, Co-Director of INQUEST said:
Given 'the breathtaking changes' to the police officers accounts it is astonishing that senior police officers hearing this case have found no misconduct. We can fully understand family and public frustration that once again it appears that the system for holding police to account has failed to deliver justice and accountability. This decision brings the police disciplinary system into disrepute.
‘My congratulations to all involved in this 30 year battle for disclosure [of the Cass report on the death of Blair Peach] … it was this awful state of affairs which led those of us who founded INQUEST to set it up. But it is mind-boggling to think that we were still arguing over this report 30 years later.’
– Terry Munyard, barrister at Garden Court Chambers and founding member of INQUEST