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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 November 2004, 17:05 GMT
Arrest death officers reinstated
Roger Sylvester
Roger Sylvester had been treated for a manic illness
Seven police officers, suspended after an inquest returned a verdict of unlawful killing in the case of a mentally ill man, have been reinstated.

Roger Sylvester, 30, from Tottenham, north London, died in hospital in 1999 after officers restrained him.

Seven Metropolitan Police officers had challenged the ruling, made last October, arguing it was "irrational".

Mr Sylvester's brother Bernard Renwick said the family were "bitterly disappointed" with the decision.

Another officer - who is now with West Midlands Police - is also likely to have his suspension lifted.

At the end of the legal challenge last week a High Court judge indicated that he would overturn the unlawful killing verdict, partly because the jury had been misdirected by the coroner.

The judge criticised the Metropolitan Police Commissioner for suspending two of the policemen who were not present when Mr Sylvester collapsed.

The deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Ian Blair, has now decided that the officers should return to full duties with immediate effect.

He said the decision was made "in the interests of the officers and the people of London as it was only the unlawful killing verdict which had led to suspension".

Roger Sylvester poster
Mr Sylvester's family have been campaigning for five years

A Met police spokesman said Mr Sylvester's death "has always been a matter of deep regret to the Met", and extended the force's deepest sympathy to relatives.

But Mr Renwick said: "This decision has yet again caused deep anguish and distress to the whole family. "

Roger Sylvester had suffered from mental health and drug problems, and was arrested while naked and banging on his own front door in Tottenham, north London.

Following his detention he was in a coma for seven days, before being pronounced dead on 18 January 1999.

BBC London Errol Murray
"For five year Roger Sylvester's family have campaigned to find out just what caused his death"

Police fight Sylvester verdict
22 Dec 03 |  England
Sylvester inquest sparks review
03 Oct 03 |  England

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