Jury shown CCTV at inquest into Widnes custody death

Jacob Michael
Jacob Michael died in Runcorn custody suite last year. Photo: ITV Granada

A jury has been shown CCTV footage recorded before the death of a Widnes man in police custody after officers used pepper spray on him.

Jacob Michael, 25, died on August 22, 2011, after collapsing at Runcorn Custody Suite.

Members of his family were also in court to hear the proceedings.

The inquest, which opened today in Daresbury, will hear from more than 50 witnesses including police, medics and neighbours.

Cheshire Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg told the jury of eight women and two men they must determine if witnesses are telling the truth.

Mr Rheinberg added: "It will be necessary to look at the possibility of deficiencies in Jacob's care... It may be necessary to determine if any force used was reasonable and lawful."

The jury were shown CCTV images from the police van which took Mr Michael to the custody suite.

The inquest heard recordings of repeated cries of "I'm sorry" followed by orders for Mr Michael to "sit up" and "stand up" as officers put him in the vehicle.

During the six minute journey Mr Micheal could be heard repeating the word "please".

On arrival, an officer told him "stand up mate. I'm not carrying you."

The court could hear groans as Mr Michael was led away.

The hearing continues.