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Police restraint causes death of young man undergoing mental health treatment

10 May 2017

Olaseni Lewis, age 23, died three days after he was subjected to two periods of restraint by police lasting more than 30 minutes, while in the care of Bethlem Royal hospital.

Read BBC report

Olaseni Lewis, 23, had voluntarily admitted himself into Bethlem Royal Hospital, Beckenham, for mental health treatment on 31 August 2010.

But, medical staff called police when he became agitated. He died from his brain being starved of oxygen.

The Coroner ruled out unlawful killing but found fault with the police who restrained Olaseni Lewis.

Disability Rights UK, in its UNCRPD report calls for working towards restraint free services.

“What measures has the State Party adopted to reduce or eliminate the use of restraint, seclusion and inappropriately prescribed medication to disabled people?”

This case shows how dangerous restraint can be.