Tuesday, 19 July 2011

IPCC: We need witnesses - Voice article

QUESTIONS: Demetre's mother, pictured here, wants answers about the death of her son

THE POLICE watchdog investigating the suspicious death of a 21-year-old who fell from a tower block following a visit from officers are appealing for witnesses.

Demetre Fraser was under house arrest in Birmingham when he was visited by officers on May 31, 2011, believing he had breached his bail conditions.

He was later found badly injured having fallen from the Moor House tower block in the Druids Heath area.
The young man was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital but was pronounced dead at 4pm the same day.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is now urging any eye witnesses to come forward to help with their ongoing investigation.

Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: "The IPCC will play a vital role in providing answers to the questions Demetre Fraser's family have surrounding his death.

"I intend to oversee a robust investigation and I hope that members of the community have faith in the independence of this investigation. Obviously I am keen that anyone who has information, who saw or heard anything at Moor House on the morning of Tuesday, May 31, to get in touch with us."

Investigators are particularly keen to speak with anyone who was in Moor House at the time of the incident, or anyone who saw or heard anything that will help piece together the circumstances leading up to his death.

The case was initially referred to the IPPC on June 1 who referred the case back to West Midlands Police.

Following fierce criticism from the community, the IPPC has reversed the decision and will conduct the investigation independently.

An inquest into Demetre's death was open and adjourned by the coroner on June 4.
Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators on Independent_DruidsHeath@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk or call 0800 096 8074.
(First published at http://www.voice-online.co.uk/)


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