Jury shown last moments of the life of a Widnes man who died in police custody

Jacob Michael

Jacob Michael

First published in News Runcorn and Widnes World: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

THE final moments of the life of a Widnes man who died at Runcorn custody have been captured on CCTV, and shown to an inquest jury today.

Footage of Jacob Michael, aged 22, being chased and then arrested and led into a police van yards from his home in Lacey Street, was screened to a jury of eight women and two men.

Police officers used pepper spray on him after it is alleged Jacob threatened them with a hammer, Cheshire Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg told the inquest at the Daresbury Park Hotel.

CCTV cameras showed Jacob moaning, from a cell inside the van, repeatedly crying out:”Please”.

When the van arrived at the cusdody suite in Manor Park, an officer told him: “Stand up mate. I’m not carrying you.”

Two officers were then seen carrying him by their arms into a cell, where he later collapsed and died, despite attempts by a nurse, police officers and paramedics to revive him.

The inquest will hear from more than 60 witnesses, including neighbours, police officers and medics.

Jacob died on August 22, last year.

From the time Jacob arrived home on that day to becoming unresponsive in a custody cell, was 45 minutes.

Coroner Mr Rheinberg told the jury: “It was a very short period of time. We will be examining every detail of that as the inquest goes on.

“You are the sole judges of the facts. It is your decision that counts.”

The jury is being taken to see Jacob’s home, his bedroom and the scene of the arrest outside the fire station in Lacey Street this afternoon.

They will also visit the custody suite to see the cell where he died.

The hearing continues tomorrow and is expected to last for five weeks.

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