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Thursday, July 30, 1998 Published at 13:38 GMT 14:38 UK


New Wayne Douglas inquest ruled out

Wayne Douglas died in police custody in 1995

The family of Wayne Douglas, whose 1995 death in police custody sparked riots in Brixton, south London, have been told there will be no fresh inquest.

The Court of Appeal upheld the initial ruling of accidental death, saying it was "most unlikely" that a new inquest would reach any other verdict.

[ image: Mr Douglas's death sparked the Brixton riots]
Mr Douglas's death sparked the Brixton riots
The Master of the Rolls, Lord Woolf, said: "The present inquest has performed in an exemplary manner the important purpose of investigating the facts and little more could be achieved by subjecting all concerned to the considerable expense and stress of a further inquest."

Lord Woolf said he accepted there may have been "just sufficient evidence" to leave unlawful manslaughter as a possible verdict.

But he said he did not consider there was any evidence of gross negligence.

'Denial of justice'

But the ruling was rejected by Mr Douglas's family, who said they have been "denied justice".

[ image: Lisa Douglas-Williams: Upset by the judge's remarks]
Lisa Douglas-Williams: Upset by the judge's remarks
Wayne's sister Lisa Douglas-Williams said: "We are particularly upset by the judge's remarks about the expense of holding a further inquest.

"A proper verdict on my brother's death is far more important than money."

Mr Douglas, 25, was suspected of robbing a young couple at knife-point when he was arrested.

The first inquest into his death found he had been held face-down with his hands cuffed behind his back on four separate occasions.

The jury at the inquest found, by an 8-1 verdict, that his death from heart-failure had been an accident, despite acknowledging that it was caused by police methods of restraint.

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