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Officer mistakes and a lack of adequate training for immigration enforcement officers contributed to death of asylum seeker

A jury in Newport, Wales found officer mistakes and a lack of adequate training for immigration enforcement officers may have contributed to the death of Mustafa Dawood, a young asylum seeker from Sudan. Mr Dawood was working illegally at a carwash after his asylum support payments had been improperly stopped by the Home Office. On 30 June 2018 a planned enforcement visit to the carwash by a team of immigration officers ended with tragic consequences after the officers pursued Mr Dawood into an adjacent warehouse. Although the officer in charge purported to call off the pursuit he did not communicate his decision to the rest of the officers, one of whom drew their baton moments before Mr Dawood climbed to the roof of the warehouse from which he ultimately fell to his death. The Home Office also gave evidence confirming that Mr Dawood would not have been arrested even if caught. The jury found that the fact that the OIC did not communicate that the pursuit had ended and the officers’ actions thereafter possibly contributed to Mr Dawood’s death, as did the fact they had not received adequate training in pursuit. The Coroner, Caroline Saunders, also indicated that she would be making a Prevention of Future Deaths report in which the issue of inadequate pursuit training for immigration officers would be raised with the Home Office.

Mr Dawood’s family were represented at the inquest by Olivia Annes and Christina Bodenes of Bhatt Murphy solicitors and Jamie Burton QC.