Sarah Reed vigil: Hundreds gather outside Holloway Prison in memory of police brutality victim who died in cell

PUBLISHED: 10:26 09 February 2016 | UPDATED: 10:52 09 February 2016

The vigil for Sarah Reed (Picture: Zita Holbourne/BARAC UK)

The vigil for Sarah Reed (Picture: Zita Holbourne/BARAC UK)

Zita Holbourne, BARAC UK

Hundreds gathered outside Holloway Prison last night to hold a candlelit vigil for Sarah Reed, a prisoner who died in her cell last month.

The vigil for Sarah Reed (Picture: Zita Holbourne/BARAC UK)The vigil for Sarah Reed (Picture: Zita Holbourne/BARAC UK)

Civil rights campaigner Lee Jasper, 58, who organised the event with the social action platform Blak Sox, told the Gazette: “It was fantastic – 24 hours’ notice and a couple of hundred people turned up and showed their solidarity and support.

“It was a wonderful outpouring for the family who buried their daughter that same day and are very grateful to all who turned up.

“Last night we had the mother of someone on the same wing as Sarah and she gave her condolences and said all the women on the wing had tried to save her. All the women were deeply distressed.

“It was a great event and we’ll be holding further demonstrations over the next few days.”

Ms Reed, 32, was found unresponsive in her cell at 8am on January 11.

Prison staff battled to save her but she was pronounced dead a short while later. It is not yet clear how she died.

Her death was confirmed by the Ministry of Justice last week.

A police spokeswoman said: “As with all deaths in custody, the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation.”

Sarah ReedSarah Reed

The news comes just over three years after Ms Reed was punched in the head by police officer James Kiddie, 46, at the Uniqlo store in Regent Street.

The shocking attack in November 2012 was captured on CCTV and saw the officer pushing her, grabbing her by the hair, throwing her onto the floor in the corridor before raining blows on her head.

After fellow officers saw the footage from the store’s detention room cameras they reported him to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, and Kiddie was removed from operational duties.

He was summoned for common assault in May 2013 and in February 2014 he was found guilty of common assault, and given a community order the month after.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Islington Gazette