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Last Updated: Monday, 22 December 2003, 12:38 GMT
Police fight Sylvester verdict
Roger Sylvester
Roger Sylvester fell into a coma after he stopped breathing
Eight police officers have begun legal action to try to overturn an inquest verdict that a man was unlawfully killed.

The group were suspended after the ruling that unreasonable force to restrain 30-year-old Roger Sylvester.

Mr Sylvester died in 1999, a week after he stopped breathing following the action by police officers.

The officers have insisted he was restrained in line with police guidelines.

An application for a judicial review was lodged on Friday by Reynolds Dawson solicitors, who are acting on behalf of the officers.

Family outside court
Mr Sylvester's family was supported by David Lammy MP (right)

A spokesman for the firm said the group would be appealing against the verdict because of the coroner's summing up to the jury.

The jury at St Pancras Coroners' Court, central London, was told Mr Sylvester had a history of mental health problems.

He was detained under the Mental Health Act after he was found naked and banging on the door of his home in January 1999.

He was taken to an emergency psychiatric ward at St Anne's Hospital, in Haringey.

While there Mr Sylvester stopped breathing and fell into a coma.

He died a week later in London's Whittington Hospital.

The jury found Mr Sylvester died from brain damage and cardiac arrest, said to have been brought on while he was restrained but also due to cannabis-induced delirium.

The officers claim Mr Sylvester was restrained within police guidelines.

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