Serious false allegations in dead prison inmate's family's claim: MHA: Page 2 of 4

Serious false allegations in dead prison inmate's family's claim: MHA

The claim filed by the family alleges that Dinesh Raman died due to "the oppressive assault" by Prison Service Officers, who "abuse[d] their positions of authority". These are false accusations. The Statement of Claim alleges (amongst other things):

a) "Despite the fact that Dinesh was not allowed to go to the outdoor yard at Changi Prison Complex, Institution A4, Housing Unit 2 (the "Outdoor Yard"), he was deliberately let out" - This is false. Dinesh Raman was disallowed from leaving his cell for "yard time" because he had committed a disciplinary offence earlier in the morning.

However, he left his cell without authorisation when the cell door was opened to allow his cell mate back into the cell. Once out of his cell, Dinesh Raman proceeded to kick a prison officer in the abdomen in an unprovoked attack. The prison officer Dinesh Raman attacked was not the same officer alleged to have had a prior verbal exchange with Dinesh Raman in the Statement of Claim.

b) "The Prison Service Officers abuse[d] their positions of authority and assaulted Dinesh", and "ignored the physical symptoms" that "Dinesh's body was presenting" - This is also false. Dinesh Raman was restrained as a result of his unprovoked attack on a prison officer.

Dinesh Raman was violent and had to be restrained by several prison officers, under the supervision of senior officer DSP Lim. Dinesh Raman exhibited physical symptoms such as breathlessness which were observed by the prison officers. These symptoms were consistent with the application of pepper spray and the restraint operation, and were subsequently addressed.

The Court that sentenced DSP Lim on the charge of causing death by negligence on 19 July 2013 did not find any malice in the actions of DSP Lim.

The prison officers applied restraint procedures, which call for 3 to 4 officers at any one time to restrain specific parts of his body and limbs in a controlled manner. This is an established procedure adopted from reputed prison services for bringing a violent prisoner under control in as safe and as controlled a manner as possible.

c) "Consequently, Dinesh sustained severe injuries from which he passed away" - This too is false. The Autopsy Report by Senior Consultant Forensic Pathologist Associate Professor Gilbert Lau stated that the cause of death was consistent with positional asphyxia.

The autopsy report further noted that the abrasions and bruises found on Dinesh Raman's body were consistent with having been physically restrained. There was no evidence of head injury, compressive neck injury, skeletal fracture or dislocation.

The Autopsy Report also does not suggest any cause of death other than positional asphyxia.

There is absolutely no basis for the false allegations contained in the claim filed by Mr Ravi on behalf of the family of Dinesh Raman.

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