Family to urge foreign secretary to help solve mystery surrounding Dagenham man’s death in Dubai jail cell
- Credit: Archant
The family of a man who died in a Dubai jail cell are to plead with the foreign secretary for help to solve the mystery surrounding his death.
Lee Bradley Brown, who lived in Baron Road, Dagenham, was staying at the Burj Al Arab luxury hotel when he was arrested by Dubai police and charged with intimidating behaviour nearly 10 years ago.
He died in a prison cell six days afterwards on April 12, 2011.
Mr Brown's mother, Doris Brown, 76, commented following a pre-inquest review held at Walthamstow Coroner's Court today (February 26): "I've lost the love of my life. He was my angel.
"I want the secretary of state to say this is not going to be brushed under the carpet."
Richard O'Brien, representing the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), said that while to the family it might seem like the foreign secretary approaching the UAE was "a logical step", escalating the case was not the issue.
He said the issue was that all legal channels "have been exhausted" in efforts to gain the evidence.
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John Lofthouse, representing the family, replied: "That just won't do. The legal channels have not been exhausted.
"We have been exhausted. To say that legal channels have to be followed and they are exhausted would be fine if we had had detailed, careful responses [from the UAE authorities]."
He called on FCO officials to inform foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, of the history of Mr Brown's case.
Mr Lofthouse urged: "The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is a highly respected body. Surely they can help us. Surely those really skilled and experienced diplomats can help when the matter is of a death in custody of a British subject in a foreign country."
Mr O'Brien said: "No one is suggesting the FCO does not want to help. The FCO has demonstrated how much it wants to help. The FCO is prepared to do what it can."
Senior coroner Nadia Persaud said it was "completely frustrating" that the coroner's court had still not received CCTV and a range of documents including statements from paramedics, doctors or the prison from the Dubai authorities.
The court had also been unable to trace three prisoners linked to the case in spite of searching police and electoral rolls.
Ms Persaud said it was difficult to know when to stop asking for information from Dubai after a letter from Barbara Fontaine, senior master of the Queen's Bench Division, requesting assistance had not led to receipt of the evidence requested.
She added: "We are in a situation which is completely frustrating. We really want the contemporaneous records from Dubai.
"I don't think asking the senior master to write again will bear fruit. Maybe the secretary of state will offer a glimmer of hope."
In 2015, the high court quashed the original inquest due to insufficiency of inquiry. A second inquest is scheduled to start on September 7.
The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates has been contacted for comment.