originally by: The Independent
published: 1 April 2013
James Best’s death in prison, where he was being held for stealing a gingerbread man during the August 2011 riots, was one of the most tragic episodes of the disturbances which shook England that summer.
Mr Best, who took the gingerbread man from a looted bakery in Croydon, had at that time only come back to the UK after a period spent living and working in Portugal, and a month before the riots he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after self-harming in public.
But what makes his death and the events surrounding it worse is that he should never have even been imprisoned in the first place, Mr Best’s brother has said.
Owen Daniel told The Independent that his 37-year-old brother, whose death from a heart attack a jury found to have been preventable, should have been placed in care due to his mental health issues, rather than in a cell in one of Britain’s most dangerous prisons.