G4S guards ignored deportee Jimmy Mubenga’s cries for help, court hears

Jimmy Mubengasource: The Guardian
published: 4 November 2014

Three G4S guards who forcibly restrained an Angolan man during his deportation ignored his repeated cries for help as they held him at the back of an aircraft before he died, a court heard on Tuesday.

Passengers on the plane on the runway at Heathrow airport heard Jimmy Mubenga, 46, shout “I can’t breathe” as the guards pinned him in his seat for more than 15 minutes, the jury was told at the beginning of the guards’ trial for manslaughter.

More than half an hour after the struggle began, Mubenga became “motionless and starry eyed”, the Old Bailey heard. He was taken off the aircraft and pronounced dead at hospital a short time later.

Mark Dennis QC, prosecuting, said: “[The guards] held Mubenga in such a position [bent forward] that his ability to breathe properly was inevitably impaired. Each officer would have known from their training – and from common sense – that keeping someone in such a position was likely to cause a person harm, yet they did so over a prolonged period and did so ignoring the repeated shouts from Mubenga that he was in trouble.”

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