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Monday, February 15, 1999 Published at 16:51 GMT


Joy Gardner's family sues police

Gardner: Five-year-old son saw her die

The family of Joy Gardner, who died after being bound and gagged by police, is to sue the home secretary and the Metropolitan Police commissioner.

Papers were served on Home Secretary Jack Straw and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Condon on Monday.

[ image:  ]
Mrs Gardner, 40, died in 1993 after a struggle with police who arrived at her flat in Crouch End, north London, to serve a deportation order on her.

Mrs Gardner's son, 11-year-old Graeme Burke, and her mother, Myrna Simpson, are claiming damages relating to the death.

Graeme was five when he saw his mother die. Solicitor Louise Christian said he is claiming damages for psychiatric injury for the trauma he has suffered as a result of that experience.

"It has been a long battle to get justice for Graeme for his mother's death," Mrs Simpson said. "I hope justice will now be done."

The officers used restraining equipment on Mrs Gardner and wrapped 13ft of sticking tape round her head to stop her biting them. The officers involved say that she violently resisted arrest.

[ image: Sir Paul:
Sir Paul: "Horrified" at the killing
Three Scotland Yard officers were tried and found not guilty of the killing.

Sir Paul said in an interview last year that said the case had "horrified" him, although he said he was not attributing individual blame.

Mrs Gardner was in the UK illegally, having arrived from Jamaica on a six-month visa in 1987.

Her daughter remained in Jamaica, but Graeme was born in the UK.

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