A coroner who oversaw the inquest into the death of the Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga has issued a highly critical report that raises a series of concerns about the way the government and private contractors deport people from the UK.
Mubenga, 46, died after being restrained by three G4S guards on board a plane at Heathrow airport that was bound for Angola in October 2010.
Last month, at the end of an eight-week inquest, a jury of seven men and three women recorded a majority verdict of nine to one of unlawful killing after four days of deliberations.
The coroner, Karon Monaghan, has now written a 30-page “rule 43 report” setting out recommendations to avoid future deaths in which she raises concerns about:
• A system of payment that rewards guards if they can keep a detainee quiet until the aircraft takes off;
• Evidence of “pervasive racism” among G4S detention custody officers who were tasked with removing detainees;
• Fears that these racist attitudes – and “loutish, laddish behaviour … Inappropriate language, and peer pressure” – are still common among escort guards today;
• Lack of “scenario specific” training for those tasked with trying to restrain people on aircrafts;
• Evidence of the use of dangerous restraint techniques such as “carpet karaoke” where detainees’ heads are forced downwards to prevent them upsetting the passengers or causing the captain to abort the removal;
• and concern that many guards were not officially accredited to carry out removals – meaning they would have been acting illegally.
Mark Scott of Bhatt Murphy solicitors, who represented the Mubenga family, welcomed the report.