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A man who died in police custody told officers “I can’t breathe” as they restrained him, an inquest has heard.

Kevin Clarke, a 35-year-old with paranoid schizophrenia, told officers “I’m going to die” as he was put into two sets of handcuffs.Kevin Clarke

Southwark Coroner’s Court heard he was “ignored” and then lost consciousness as he was taken to an ambulance.

He had been living at the Jigsaw Project, a residential support service, up until his death on 9 March 2018.

The court heard he was seen by officers earlier that day but was not sectioned despite concerns from the staff at Jigsaw.

The police were called later and Mr. Clarke was found lying on the ground on the edge of a school playing field.

‘Going to die’

PC Lee Pidgeon told the inquest Mr. Clarke had begun to get “a bit fidgety” and the use of handcuffs to restrain him was appropriate as he was showing signs of acute behavioral disorder (ABD).

“This was an unusual behavior and it was obvious to me [Mr. Clarke] needs urgent medical attention,” he said.

“It suggested to me that perhaps he was getting a bit unnerved. Maybe he’s starting to get a second wind.

“If he had got to his feet with increased strength there was a possibility that one of us could have been hurt or he could have a runoff.”

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Officers placed Mr. Clarke in two sets of handcuffs due to his size and in the footage he could be heard groaning, saying “I can’t breathe” and “I’m going to die”.IMAGE COPYRIGHTFAMILY HANDOUT Image caption Mr Clarke was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 17PC Pidgeon said he had not heard what Mr Clarke said at the time but admitted that in the footage his speech “seems quite clear [and] comprehensible”