An inquest into the death of a Moroccan Jewish man has heard how medical “red flags” were missed because guards transporting him did not tell nurses that he had vomited repeatedly on his way back to a detention centre.
Amir Siman-Tov, who converted to Judaism before travelling to the UK, died at Colnbrook detention centre in February 2016, after returning from hospital where he had been taken following fears that he had overdosed on painkillers.
HM Assistant Coroner Sean Cummings heard that Siman-Tov had a history of mental ill health and had been living with his family in London before he was detained a month before he died.
The jury at West London Coroner’s Court returned a verdict of ‘death by misadventure’ after hearing how Siman-Tov was terrified of detention and of being deported to Morocco and had sought to kill himself by saving up his medication.
Despite having just returned from hospital, neither of the two night nurses checked on him from 7pm until 3.15am, when he was “found unresponsive”. He was pronounced dead by paramedics at 4.10am.
Earlier that day, custody officers told Colnbrook’s attendant nurse that Siman-Tov threw up once on his journey back from hospital. In fact, he had thrown up several times. The nurse told the coroner that this would have been “a red flag” that would have meant Siman-Tov returning to hospital.
Mia Hasenson-Gross, director of Jewish human rights group René Cassin, said: “This tragic incident once again highlights the lethal policy of indefinite detention. The evidence that detention is harmful is indisputable.”