Coroner rules police responsible for security guard Sugumar's death

Coroner rules police responsible for security guard Sugumar's death

SHAH ALAM - A Coroner's Court here held that the police had committed unlawful omission by not providing immediate medical attention to security guard C. Sugumar, who ran amok and died two years ago.

Judge Rozi Bainon said the police's refusal to send Sugumar to hospital after he suffered difficulty in breathing, because he was big in size, was not an excuse.

At about 6pm on Jan 23, 2013, 39-year-old Sugumar ran amok and passers-by notified the police, who came and chased after Sugumar, eventually pinning him down.

"Despite hitting his head, talking to himself, destroying banana trees, throwing bricks and zinc into the drain, the deceased did not endanger the lives of others," said Rozi on Friday.

She also pointed out that the police's action in throwing a packet of curry powder, stepping on the deceased and handcuffing the security guard with two pairs of handcuffs was brutal and unusual.

"The court will now leave this case to the police and the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) for the next course of action to begin investigation under the Criminal Procedure Code," said Rozi.

Lawyer Eric Paulsen, who was representing the deceased's family in the death inquest, said they were happy with the court's decision.

However, Paulsen is calling upon the police and the A-G to break the culture of impunity by commencing investigations immediately on the death inquest.

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