Further to the tragic death of Jafur Saker after a police pursuit in April 2021, a week-long inquest has concluded this month, returning a conclusion of misadventure. The jury were directed by the West London Assistant Coroner, Dr Anton Van Dellen, at the West London Coroner’s Court in Fulham.
At the time of the incident, Mr. Saker was suspected of driving a car with cloned plates. He failed to stop and, after a pursuit involving several police vehicles, he decamped at Hounslow train station, jumping from the platform and running onto the tracks. Tragically, he came into contact with the live third rail and was electrocuted.
7BR’s Adam Clemens appeared at the inquest on behalf of the Metropolitan Police. After hearing submissions in which the Metropolitan Police took the lead, the Coroner ruled that the inquest did not fall within Article 2. In response to specific questions, the jury determined that it was proportionate for the police to continue the pursuit, and that the police complied with policies regarding police pursuit driving, both at national and local level. The court also heard live radio transmissions and viewed body worn and dashcam footage of the pursuit.
South Western Trains and Network Rail were interested persons at the inquest, and the court examined signage and warnings about the danger of electrocution. No criticisms attached, and the Coroner did not issue a prevention of future deaths report. The issue of live third rails at ground level is highly topical at the moment, but is required when overhead electrification is not viable.
Adam was instructed by Sonal Halai and Suzanne Muirhead from the Metropolitan Police.
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