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Death in police custody was 'misadventure'

The death of man who collapsed after police put him in a "leg-lock" was caused by misadventure, jurors ruled today.

Jason Murray, 34, of The Hive, Northfleet, died in June 2009 while under the care of police.

Jurors were told how paramedics had found him in his flat bleeding from a cut to his head. He refused medical treatment.

Two days later, he visited North Kent Police Station in search of police protection. He believed someone was chasing him.

An officer decided he needed a mental health assessment and Mr Murray, four police officers and ambulance technicians went to Little Brook Hospital in Dartford.

While Mr Murray was in an assessment room, he was restrained by officers using a "leg lock" technique after repeatedly trying to leave the room.

The officer noticed Mr Murray’s face had gone purple and paramedics were immediately summoned to revive him, using a defibrillator.

Mr Murray was later transferred to Darent Valley Hospital, where he died six days later.

In directions given to the jury, the coroner described misadventure.

He said they should reach that verdict "if it was probable or more likely than not, that the cause of death arose directly or deliberately from some human act that has unexpectedly or deliberately taken a turn that leads to death".

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