Henry Hicks inquest begins as family banned from court during police officers’ evidence
- Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson
The family of Islington teen Henry Hicks will not be allowed in court when the police officers involved in his death give evidence, it was announced today.
It comes at the start of a two-week inquest into the 18-year-old’s death in 2014. The officers involved in Henry’s death have remained anonymous due to concerns for their safety, and today’s decision by coroner Mary Hassell means the Hicks family will only have access to a live audio feed for the officer’s testimonies at St Pancras Coroner’s Court.
Evidence of the four officers will now be delayed until Monday, in order to allow the Hicks family time to appeal the decision.
As the inquest got under way today, jurors heard witness Christopher Moran desrcibe how his “van actually rocked with the speed the police cars were going” as they pursued Henry down Caledonian Road.
“When I saw the police coming it made me really nervous,” he said.
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“In my mind they had no regard for the safety of anyone else on that road.”
On an emotional first day, Henry’s family also heard the evidence of Raitis Liepins, whose car collided with Henry following the police chase on December 19, 2014.
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“I immediately stopped, switched my hazard lights on, took my phone and stepped out of the car,” he told the court. “I looked forward and could see his body lying with his crash helmet on, with a tiny line of blood going toward the kerb.”
Henry was killed when his scooter crashed into other vehicles in Wheelwright Street, near Pentonville Prison.
The coroner has also asked the Independent Police Complaints Commission to provide the findings of its investigation into the conduct of police in the three years leading up to Henry’s death. Henry was subject to stop and search on several occasions between October 11, 2011, and his death.
Jurors were sworn in at 2pm today, and will hear evidence on the events surrounding Henry’s death for the next fortnight.
A decision on his cause of death is expected to be reached by June 30.