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Birmingham man fatally shot by police during arrest, inquest hears

Birmingham

Birmingham man fatally shot by police during arrest, inquest hears

A 52-year-old Birmingham man was killed by a ricocheting police bullet when he refused to leave his room during an attempted arrest, an inquest has heard.

Trevor Smith, a van driver who was suffering from mental health problems, was fatally shot when officers attempted to arrest him at his home in Lee Bank, in the early hours of 15 March 2019.

Jurors heard how Smith had been reported to police by his former partner for threatening behaviour towards her. She alleged he once held a gun to her head, and sent her a WhatsApp message showing a gun on his sofa in which he threatened to “do her in”.

She also said that after they broke up in January 2019, he sent “intimate” videos of her to friends and had received a number of greetings cards from Smith containing threats, one of which was a sympathy card with her photo on it saying: “RIP, you’re always in our thoughts – not.”

Following her complaints, police secured a warrant to arrest Smith and search his property for the firearm. A black imitation firearm was discovered at the property.

Summarising the circumstances of Smith’s death, the senior coroner Louise Hunt said that during the execution of the warrant, Smith remained in his bedroom where he sat on the end of the bed with a duvet held in front of him and one of his arms was not visible.

A police dog was brought on the scene and started barking. Smith dropped the duvet and one of his limbs moved, and one of the police officers fired a weapon, with the bullet ricocheting off the bed frame and hitting Smith.

Smith received CPR and an ambulance attended the property, but he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards. A postmortem confirmed he died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Smith’s family described him as “a very bright, talented and creative individual”, a well-dressed “fashionista” and an avid football fan who was popular across Birmingham. “Trevor’s life mattered and he did not deserve to lose it in this way,” his sister Lorna Webley said.

“One Friday morning, someone took my brother’s life in three seconds. At this moment, we cannot explain the proper reason for any good cause for his death.”

She said Smith, a father of two, had “battled with mental health challenges for many years, often dismissed by others as bad behaviour” and that he was deeply affected by his father’s death in 2017. In the months before his death his mother noticed Smith seemed depressed and his usual smart dress had become unkempt.

The inquest heard that in January 2019, Smith had overdosed in an attempt to take his own life and left three suicide notes, after which he was referred to Birmingham and Solihull mental health NHS foundation trust.

Hunt said that over the course of the inquest, jurors would also hear about an “issue” with the defibrillator used during resuscitation attempts and “whether there was any delay in an ambulance attending because there was a mix-up in the address”.

The inquest, being held at Edgbaston cricket ground because of the Covid pandemic, continues.

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Osun Transport Masterplan to Be Ready Soon-Governor Adeleke

Governor Ademola Adeleke has announced his administration’s plan to release to the public the Osun State Transport Master Plan to facilitate integrated connectivity for the Osun economy.

The Governor made the announcement on Thursday while commissioning the Osun State Computerised Vehicle Inspection Testing Center at Osogbo.

The Governor who narrated a series of ongoing reforms being delivered by his government said “The test center right here is the first of its kind among other interventions of our administration to reposition the State’s Transportation sector

According to the State Governor, “Our government is pursuing reforms across the transport sector. We ensure that Commercial Motorcycle operators across the State are registered under a database with a rider’s jacket and identification card for safety purposes. Mini-buses, popularly known as (Korope) have also been registered and numbered for easy identification and security.

“We have introduced single ticketing to all commercial drivers in the State through the Osun State Transport Management System (OSTMS) to guide against leakage of revenue.

“It is equally my pleasure to inform the public that our administration is working on a Transportation Master plan for Osun state. We are focused on a multimodal plan that will integrate all modes of transportation within the state. It will lay our objectives and strategic agenda for land, air, and water transportation.

“The plan is to regulate, plan, and develop an efficient and well-integrated transport system that will serve the public interest, enhance mobility, and deliver a secure and environmentally friendly Public Transportation System in different areas across Osun.

“The plan is central to our five-point agenda as it focuses on connectivity within and outside the state. Osun is centrally located in the heart of Yorubaland.

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Adeleke speaks on collapse of OAU amphitheatre

Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun has promised to pay the medical bills of students injured in the Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU), Ile-Ife, Amphitheatre roof collapse.

The affected students are receiving treatment at the University Health Centre and the Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife.

Adeleke, who was represented by the Commissioner for Education, Dipo Eluwole, sympathised with the management of the University and parents of the affected students on the unfortunate incident.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr Abiodun Olarewaju, in Ile-Ife on Saturday.

The commissioner was conducted round the scene of the incident by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Simeon Bamire, and other principal officers of the University, and visited the two health facilities where the students are receiving treatment.

He expressed happiness that the affected students are responding to the treatment.

Eluwole lauded the university management for its quick response to the emergency and prompt medical attention given to the students.

Speaking to the four students being treated at the University Health and Medical Centre, the commissioner commended their bravery and wished them quick recovery.

At the Neurological ward of the University Teaching Hospital where two other students are being treated, Eluwole pleaded with their parents to see what happened as a natural occurrence.

He, thereafter, informed the vice chancellor that the Gov. Adeleke pledged to bankroll all medical expenses that may be incurred in the course of the treatment of the students.

Responding, the vice-chancellor thanked the governor for being so kind and loving, stressing that his fatherly role to the students and the good people of Osun is commendable.

A torrential rain on Thursday morning, accompanied with a whirlwind affected a part of the ceiling of the Amphitheatre as it fell off and injured some students.

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Woman burns stepchildren’s hands for eating rice prepared for their father

The Adamawa State Police Command has arrested one Rachel Geoffrey, a 23-year-old woman and resident of Federal Housing Estate, Girei, for allegedly setting fire to the hands of her stepchildren.

The children, Genesis Geoffrey, seven years old: and Idadai Geoffrey, three years old, now have their affected hands bandaged.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Suleiman Nguroje, said in a statement that Rachel intentionally inflicted severe physical injuries on her stepchildren.

In the statement released Saturday, the police image maker said the incident occurred on Tuesday, May 14.

He said the children suffered several calculated acts of cruelty and human rights violations from their stepmother.

He explained that the children faced the wrath of the woman over a plate of rice she cooked and kept for her husband.

“The kids, because of hunger, ate their father’s food and that angered her. She then tied their hands with a handkerchief and set fire to them, resulting in the severe injuries they sustained,” Nguroje explained.

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