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No one said sorry to me for my son's death'

PUBLISHED: 12:09 11 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:41 25 August 2010

Paul Coker

Paul Coker

A MOTHER whose only son died in custody said the police s apology was a PR stunt as no one apologised to her but rather to the media. Disorientated Paul Coker, 32, (pictured right) from Woolwich, died a lonely death in cell eight of Plumstead Police sta

A MOTHER whose only son died in custody said the police's apology was a PR stunt as no one apologised to her but rather to the media.

Disorientated Paul Coker, 32, (pictured right) from Woolwich, died a lonely death in cell eight of Plumstead Police station as officers allegedly stood around joking on the morning of August 6, 2005.

He was arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace at his girlfriend's flat after he had taken cocaine and started acting strangely.

The jury at the former engineer's six week inquest returned a scathing narrative verdict last Wednesday which blamed police training, communication and the doctor's untimely and inadequate assessment, in failing to spot his symptoms.

The jury found the cause of death to be cocaine intoxication with a variant of excited delirium and acute behavioural disorder.

On the day of the verdict, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) issued a statement to the media with an apology to the family.

But mother Patricia Coker said nobody apologised to her. She said: "The police sent out an apology to the media but I didn't receive anything. It was a PR exercise.

"It was absolutely horrendous being in court every day listening to the evidence.

"A lot of the police training is rubbish. The calibre of officers who we saw give evidence was worrying.

"They just wanted to teach him a lesson. And they did that in an inhumane and degrading manner.

"If Paul didn't have any confrontation with the police, he would still be with us today.

"The neglect which he suffered at the hands of the officers and the doctor was diabolical.

"Their training was so basic and it was proved all the way through the inquest. They had a nonchalant attitude to the way they treated Paul.

"All the footage in Plumstead police station shows him being calm and collapsing on the floor dying. It is heartbreaking as it shows how uncaring they were.

"He had Rigor Mortis when the paramedics were allowed to go into the cell.

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