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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 April, 2004, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
Brother's death film 'must be shown'
CCTV footage showing Christopher Alder choking to death while in police custody is being shown on BBC One on Wednesday. His sister Janet and TV producer Simon Ford explain why.

Christopher Alder
Christopher Alder had been in hospital after an assault
"They are very difficult images but people should brace themselves, look at them and then make their own minds up about what happened."

Simon Ford, executive producer of Death on Camera, says it is right to show CCTV footage of the dying moments of Christopher Alder.

The footage shows the 37-year-old lying on the floor of Queen's Gardens police station in Hull as police officers stand nearby.

He does not move for 11 minutes, dying from choking on his own blood and vomit.

Mr Ford told BBC Breakfast: "When I saw it (the footage) I thought it would be unquestionably the case that it would be in the public interest to show it and allow people to make up their own minds.

The officers themselves have never been cross-examined on this
Simon Ford
Executive producer Rough Justice
"All of the justice that has happened in this case, and not much has happened, has failed. No-one's been punished for it, no-one's been held to account.

"The officers themselves have never been cross-examined on this.

"And the public have only seen reports of it.

"They've never been able to look at it themselves and say, 'As a human being, how do I respond to what I saw happening that night on the police station floor?'"

'Unlawful killing'

Mr Alder, a father-of-two from Hull, had been arrested in hospital, where he was being treated for a banged head following a scuffle outside a hotel.

Janet Alder
I'd like a public inquiry to make people aware of just actually what is going on
Janet Alder
Christopher's sister

The family of Mr Alder have campaigned for a public inquiry into his death and have previously called for the footage to be released.

A statement from Humberside Police said: "The BBC has chosen to show the CCTV footage, which was not provided by Humberside Police.

"We firmly believe that a film which portrays someone dying is not for public viewing."

Mr Alder's sister Janet, from Burnley, Lancashire, wants justice for her brother who died in April 1998.

"We've actually been through a criminal trial, we've been through an inquest, which got a unanimous verdict of unlawful killing by a jury of ordinary people and the authorities still, I feel, haven't done what's right and brought those people responsible to justice.

"I'd like a public inquiry to make people aware of just actually what is going on and where the public money is being spent.

"Without admittance, how can you ever have change?

Footage and reconstruction stills
CCTV footage and reconstructions will feature on Death on Camera
"It's been a lip service with all the organisations. There have been 150 questions asked at an inquest and a criminal trial. Not one has been answered.

"There have been no apologies, absolutely no explanation."

An inquest concluded Mr Alder was unlawfully killed.

Sgt John Dunn, 40, and Pcs Neil Blakey, 42, Mark Ellerington, 37, Nigel Dawson, 41, and Matthew Barr, 38, of Humberside Police, were cleared of manslaughter and misconduct after a judge directed a jury to find them all not guilty.

An independent hearing cleared all of them of neglect of duty allegations.

Ms Alder said of the footage being shown on national television: "It is a very extreme measure.

"It has not been an easy decision to make but we feel that ordinary people need to know what has gone on."

Death on Camera, part of the Rough Justice series, will be shown on BBC One at 2100 BST (2235 BST in Scotland) on Wednesday.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Daniel Sandford
"Christopher Alder's family say they want a public inquiry"



SEE ALSO:
Dying man CCTV video is screened
14 Apr 04  |  Humber
Custody death family fight on
25 Jun 03  |  Humber
Police hearing after custody death
20 Feb 03  |  England
Police officers' trial collapses
21 Jun 02  |  England
Ex-paratrooper's death unlawful
24 Aug 00  |  UK News


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