Inquest for Fraser Moore
Taylor Rose MW represented the family of Fraser Moore, a 25-year-old Canadian citizen who died by electrocution on a live rail at London Bridge train station on 25 March 2020, after being unjustifiably handcuffed and wrongfully arrested by British Transport Police officers, an inquest heard.
The inquest at Southwark Coroner’s Court concluded that the improper conduct of British Transport Police officers contributed to the death of Mr Moore. The coroner heard how Mr Moore came to the attention of two off-duty London Metropolitan Police sergeants who were travelling on the same train and were concerned for his welfare.
Mr Moore, with a known history of mental health issues, agreed to go to the hospital and was fully compliant with the off-duty officers. However, when a British Transport Police sergeant arrived, he handcuffed Mr Moore without asking either of the off-duty officers for an update on the situation, while a second British Transport Police offer proceeded to arrest Mr Moore.
The inquest heard that Mr Moore managed to run off the train in handcuffs as the British Transport Police and was chased down a platform by both officers and fell onto the live tracks and died.
The jury found that both police officers were responsible for the following:
- The British Transport Police officers failed to follow the National Decision Model in their failure to gather enough information before handcuffing him (which preceded arrest).
- Mr Moore did not display a level of aggression that warranted him being handcuffed.
- Both police officers did not gather enough information before arresting him, despite the presence of the informant and two MPS officers at the scene and relied on an inaccurate log instead as evidence for the arrest.
- The supervision of Mr Moore post-detention was inadequate, which allowed him to run off the train.
Assistant Coroner Dr Julian Morris concluded that Mr Moore’s handcuffing was inappropriate, his arrest unnecessary, and both officers failed to prevent his escape. The coroner is now considering making a Prevent Future Death (PFD) report to Network Rail, and that action should be taken to extend CCTV footage at London Bridge train station to cover the rail tracks. The coroner is also considering making a PFD report in relation to his concern that the Metropolitan Police 999 call operator recorded inaccurate and misleading information.
Commenting on the outcome, Jade Brown of Taylor Rose MW, who represents the family, said: “The inquest has been extremely difficult for Fraser’s family, especially his mum who lives in Canada. Fraser was clearly unwell when he encountered officers on 25 March 2020, yet instead of the officers exercising their s.136 powers and treating him with care, he was arrested and handcuffed for a crime he did not commit.
“The handcuffing appeared to be a trigger for Fraser who unfortunately went on the tracks whilst being pursued by an officer and was electrocuted. Officers are trained to deal with vulnerable individuals, yet we repeatedly see those that are vulnerable being failed leading to death. It is the family’s hope that following the hearing and the jury’s findings that police officers, who cited the National Decision Model in evidence, actually apply it in future”
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