Police did “everything possible” to save dying Ilford mum
Police officers called to help a dying mother “did everything possible” to save her life, a report has found.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was called in to investigate after the death of 25-year-old Sushma Kaur in a bathroom at her home in Gordon Street, Ilford in January 2009.
Three officers had to wait 12 minutes for specialist equipment to open the locked bathroom door while Ms Kaur lay dying on the other side.
IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: “From the evidence available it appears that the officers in this case did everything possible to open the door as quickly as they could in the circumstances and should be commended for their commitment, despite the tragic outcome.
“This is a very sad case, which must have been incredibly traumatic for Sushma’s son and the rest of her family and it is important that the actions of the officers involved were thoroughly scrutinised.”
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Ms Kaur’s seven-year-old son alerted a neighbour that his mother had collapsed in a locked toilet. The neighbour in turn telephoned 999, and an officer arrived within three minutes, followed by a paramedic who tried to kick down the bathroom door without success.
When specialist equipment finally arrived Sushma was freed and taken to King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes but was pronounced dead an hour later.
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In February last year an inquest at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court heard from a neurologist who said: “If police officers had forced the door when they arrived, placed the lady in a recovery position and provided basic medical care, on the balance of probabilities she would still be alive.”
But Ms Kaur’s neighbour, who first called police, told the IPCC that the police officers at the scene were “brilliant.”
She added: “I felt the officers were in control of everything, they were in control but they were also calm.”
The inquest, which concluded in March this year, found that Ms Kaur died of natural causes.