HMP Wandsworth and London Ambulance Service severely criticised by jury at inquest concerning death of James Best imprisoned for stealing a gingerbread man during the London riots 25 March 2013 A jury has severely criticised HMP Wandsworth and the London Ambulance Service (LAS) for ‘failures within the systems and the consequent delays’ which meant not enough was done to attempt to save the life of a man detained during the 2011 Croydon riots for stealing from a bakery. James Best, 37, was being held on remand at HMP Wandsworth when he collapsed and died of a heart attack after a gym session on 8 September 2011. At the conclusion of an inquest into his death on Friday 22 March, the coroner recorded a narrative verdict describing the shambolic response once James became ill. The jury described the timing of the call to the LAS, and the lack of priority given to the call by the LAS, as both ‘potentially contributing to’ James Best’s death.
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