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:: irr news - independent race and refugee news network

:: Justice Denied - The Mirgant Meida production (1995) "hears from members of her family about Joy's death, reports on the reactions to it in the Black community, examines two other deaths related to immigration control, that of Kwanele Siziba and Joseph Nnalue, and asks what are the political circumstances that allow these deaths to happen."
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[ 30. Aug 1993 ]

Joy Gardner

* Jamaican immigration overstayer
* Aged 40
* Died August 1993, United Kingdom
* Official cause of death: brain damage caused by lack of oxygen


Case details: Deportation police from the SO1(3) squad arrived at the north London home of Joy Gardner in the early hours of the morning of 8 July 1993. In front of her 5-year-old son, they held her down to stop her struggling and placed a body belt around her waist, bound her wrists to handcuffs attached to a belt and tied her thighs and ankles with leather belts. They then wrapped 13 feet of tape around her mouth to stop her screaming. She was taken to hospital in a coma from which she never recovered.

Action taken: Home Office and Metropolitan police launched a joint review of procedures for deportation and, shortly afterwards, the home secretary banned the use of gags and adhesive tape to restrain deportees. Many newspapers depicted Joy Gardner as a dangerous and violent criminal.

Prosecutions: In 1995, three police officers stood trial, charged with the manslaughter of Joy Gardner, but were acquitted. No disciplinary action was taken against any of the officers involved in the actual deportation and a supervisory officer who faced a disciplinary charge was cleared of any wrong-doing.

Further action: In 1999, the family of Joy Gardner issued a writ against the home secretary and the Metropolitan police commissioner for "unlawful killing". The family are seeking compensation for the psychological suffering caused to Joy Gardner"s son by witnessing the deportation attempt.

Source: :: IRR Analysis: Deaths during forced deportation