Judge: Cops to blame for guard's death

Judge: Cops to blame for guard's death
Court rules: Paulsen holding a copy of the written judgment.

SHAH ALAM - The Coroner's Court here has found that police officers accelerated the death of security guard C. Sugumar because they failed to send the weak and unaggressive man to hospital.

Judge Rozi Bainon ruled that the death was due to the unlawful omission by the police.

Sugumar died from a heart problem in Jalan Besar Hulu Langat, Kajang, Selangor, on Jan 23, 2013 between 6.45pm and 6.50pm.

"The reason the police gave, that the deceased was big-sized and that they refused to put him in a police vehicle to bring him to the hospital, proved there was negligence," said Rozi yesterday.

Known to be suffering from mental illness, Sugumar ran amok on the fateful evening, talking to himself, hitting a burger stall, destroying banana plants, pulling electric cables, and throwing bricks and zinc into the drain.

Passers-by called the police, who gave chase and pinned him to the ground.

However, Rozi pointed out that despite Sugumar's behaviour, he did not endanger the lives of others and he was calm when a witness told him not to throw things at children.

"Witnesses who saw the police throwing yellow powder, stepping on him and using two pairs of handcuffs on him bring up the question as to whether this was a brutal and unusual arrest," said Rozi in reading the judgment.

Rozi concluded the judgment saying the matter would now be handed over to the police and Attorney-General to begin investigations under the Criminal Procedure Code.

Sugumar was a security guard living in Batu 14 Hulu Langat, Selangor.

The officers called for an ambulance but the hospital did not have any at the time. Sugumar was unconscious and the police tried to revive him using CPR.

Sugumar's body was sent to the hospital mortuary in a four-wheel drive two hours after he died.

Lawyer Eric Paulsen, who represented Sugumar's family in the death inquest, urged the police and the Attorney-General to commence investigations immediately.

"There are now three death inquests which have held the police responsible and no one has been criminally charged," said Eric.

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