Investigation into death of man in Blackpool police custody will likely go before jury
The inquest for a father of five who died shortly after being pulled over by police in Blackpool will probably be heard by a jury, according to the coroner.
Ronald Robinson, 56, was driving a hire car on Knowle Avenue, North Shore, on March 11 when he was stopped.
Officers claimed he put a “small ball-shaped item into his mouth before he was arrested”, the Independent Office for Public Conduct (IOPC) said.
He collapsed in the street shortly after, and was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where he died.
At a pre-inquest review hearing at Blackpool Town Hall today, coroner Andrew Cousins said: "Most coroners inquests are held without a jury, but where there is involvement, for example, from the police, there is the possibility a jury may be required. Given my review of (the post mortem) report... I'm minded to list it with a jury."
The final decision will be made at a further pre-inquest hearing on October 22, on request of Mr Robinson's family's representative, Frederick Powell.
The issue of police body cam footage, which captured the moment of Mr Robinson's arrest and susequent collapse, will also be discussed.
An investigation into the incident was carried out by the Independent Office for Public Conduct (IOPC). However, Mr Powell told the court that, so far, Mr Robinson's family had only been provided with the post-mortem report, which contained several redacted names.
Providing the court with an extensive list of requests for evidence to be disclosed, Mr Powell said: "The first item on my list was the last of the documents in the post mortem report. There are 21 additional items there and we would like to see them.
"The second item is the North West Ambulance Service records regarding the incident on March 11 2021. These records I think are very important to your investigation.
"The third item is the medical records on admission to Blackpool Victoria Hospital. As you know, that is the hospital to which he was taken following the treatment he was given by paramedics. These records are obviously important on understanding the injuries that were sustained and the treatment that was given at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
"The fourth item on the list is the GP records.
"The fifth item... The version of the post mortem we received was redacted in a few places. It would be helpful to see an unrestricted version, if available. There are a few names which have been omitted that we would like to see.
"The sixth item is the toxicology report.
"The seventh item is the pictures of Mr Robinson's body and the swallowed package that was mentioned in the post mortem report. I understand these pictures were seen by Dr Armor (the pathologist) and are not routinely disclosed to the family, but in this case it would be helpful to see them.
"The eigth item is the IOPC report. I understand there has been an investigation by the IOPC. It would be usual for that to be disclosed.
"The only other point to address is whether there was any other evidence that was in police possession regarding this incident. If there are any other contemporaneous records or incident legs, it would be helpful to see these as well."
A further hearing was arranged for October 22. A full inquest will take place the week starting February 21 2022.