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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Family holds vigil for dead son
Robin Goodenough
Robin Goodenough collapsed and died after being wrongly arrested
The family of a motorist who died in custody after being wrongly stopped on suspicion of car theft say their lives have been devastated by the tragedy.

Robin Goodenough, of Oxford, collapsed and died shortly after being arrested in Oxford, on 27 September 2003.

It turned out the car he was driving was not stolen. The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) investigated the case.

Robin's older brother, Thomas, said his death had "destroyed" the family, who held a vigil on Thursday.

'Attempted overdose'

Mr Goodenough was driving a blue Vauxhall Astra when he was allegedly seen driving erratically and arrested in Alma Place - where the vigil is being held on what would have been his 27th birthday.

The 26-year-old, who had been released from Bullingdon prison earlier that day after serving a sentence for driving while disqualified, stopped breathing at the scene and could not be revived.

Thomas Goodenough, from Abingdon, who tried to commit suicide with an overdose a week before his brother's funeral last November, told BBC News Online: "Robin's death has destroyed our lives.

"My mother Glenys needs to take sleeping pills every night to get some sleep.

I still cannot believe my brother is dead - I find it hard to believe life will ever get any easier
Thomas Goodenough

"I lost my job in landscape management because I could not focus on it and have been having counselling since he died.

"Although I am ashamed I attempted an overdose, I just wanted to stop the pain.

"At the time, I could not cope with the funeral.

"I still cannot believe my brother is dead. I find it hard to believe life will ever get any easier."

Father-of-four Thomas said his brother - who was dyslexic - found it difficult to get a job because he could not read or write.

"He was terribly embarrassed about it and I used to do all his paperwork for him."

Crown Prosecution Service

The 33-year-old also described Robin as a "great uncle".

Robin was engaged to Kim McGrath at the time of his death and on 27 February she gave birth to his son, who is also named Robin.

They both now live with Robin's mother in Barton.

Mr Goodenough said: "He adored my children and could not wait to have some of his own."

Four police officers were suspended from duty following Robin's death, and have since been questioned by officers from Hampshire Constabulary, which investigated the death for the PCA, now the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

An IPCC spokeswoman said: "A file has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service. It is up to them to decide whether the officers should be charged.

"The officers are currently suspended."

Police pay for man's funeral
25 Nov 03  |  Oxfordshire
Police suspended in death inquiry
20 Oct 03  |  Oxfordshire
Police bailed in death inquiry
16 Oct 03  |  Oxfordshire
Police held over driver's death
15 Oct 03  |  Oxfordshire
Inquiry after man dies under arrest
29 Sep 03  |  Oxfordshire

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