A DISTRAUGHT mum broke down in tears yesterday as she recalled the last time she saw her son alive.

Christine Michael watched her 25-year-old son, Jacob, being beaten by police near his home in Lacey Street, Widnes, as he begged for mercy.

Mrs Michael told an inquest in Daresbury: “They were constantly hitting him on his thighs with batons. He put his hands up and said: ‘Please don’t do anything’.

“They put handcuffs on his hands and restraints on his feet.”

“It hurt me to see him pleading.”

Jacob died in a police cell at Runcorn’s custody suite, on August 22, last year.

Police officers had used pepper spray on him after he threatened them with a hammer in his bedroom.

They chased him as he ran out into the street.

Mrs Michael said Jacob was ‘acting out of character’.

She said: “I’m his mum, I knew. He is not the sort of person who would normally plead.

“He wouldn’t allow people to treat him like that without a struggle.

“When I brought him up there were only one or two black children in Widnes. I made him be able to stick up for himself.”

A jury of eight women and two women has been appointed to deliberate the facts of the inquest, led by Cheshire Coroner, Nicholas Rheinberg.

The inquiry, at the Daresbury Park Hotel, is expected to last for five weeks.