Jump to content

Now-paralysed student went from 'hyper to blank' after police 'pounced' misconduct hearing told


Recommended Posts

Four officers are accused of failing to conduct any welfare checks.

Now-paralysed student went from 'hyper to blank' after police 'pounced' misconduct hearing told


Date - 9th October 2018
By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle
1 Comment1 Comment}


A sport science student suddenly changed from angry and energetic to “blank, nothing there” after first being “rugby tackled” to the floor by a night club bouncer and then restrained by officers, his friend told a hearing this morning.

In the early hours of the morning of May 6, 2013 then 19-year-old Julian Cole was kicked out of Elements night club in Mill Street, Bedford.

He was infuriated when staff refused him a refund and repeatedly tried to re-enter the club. On his last attempt a doorman floored him and restrained him on the ground with the help of police officers, a misconduct hearing was told yesterday.

Mr Cole was arrested and taken to Greyfriars Police Station in Bedford town centre but later rushed to hospital after he stopped breathing. Five years later he remains in a vegetative state, paralysed and brain damaged.

The officers are not accused of causing Julian’s injuries or making them worse.

PC Ross, PC Oates and PC Kalyan are accused of failing to make any welfare checks on Mr Cole despite showing “obvious signs of serious injury” and “fabricating” evidence to deflect responsibility.

Sergeant Andrew Withy is accused of not making any welfare checks on Mr Cole but is not accused of dishonesty.

Giving evidence at a Bedfordshire Police misconduct hearing held at the Holiday Inn, Stevenage, Julian’s friend Martin Gomes told the hearing they went to Elements as a large group of friends that night and paid a bigger entrance fee than normal to see a DJ performance.

Mr Gomes said himself and Julian were thrown out of the venue after they stood up on metal barriers near the stage to get a better view of the show.  

Afterwards they had a heated conversation with bouncers, with Julian calling one of the doormen a “prick” and becoming increasingly angry when they declined to give him his money back.

“He [the doorman] sort of antagonised him, knowing if he [Julian] does anything he’s going to get into trouble. 

“I didn’t like it because it was making the whole situation a lot worse than it neded to be. I think I lost my temper with him.”

Julian initially calmed down when police were called, Mr Gomes said, but later made a break for it and tried to run back into the side entrance of Elements.  

Mr Gomes said: “Jordan [security guard] came out and he’s rugby tackled Julian. I remember just around the chest and neck he’s taken down.

“It was quite a bit of force because it’s only him and he’s only a small guy. For me it was too much force.

“Julian has gone down on the ground, Jordan holding him.

“He’s gone from being very loud to now not respnding to anything.

“Once Jordan sort of let go three or four police officers had pounced on him and put handcuffs on him.

“Once they’ve handcuffed him they had two of them at the side of each arm, one behind him.

“They lift him, as they’ve lifted hm up he’s really dead weight. At first I thought maybe he’s just having a tantrum.

“Then I started realising - hang on he’s not responding.”

He said he tried to speak to his friend behind the van, who he had a close relationship with, to tell him just to cooperate with police.

“I had to lift his chin up to look into his eyes. As soon as I let go it’s gone down. He’s just not there, he’s blank, there was nothing there.”  

Mr Gomes said he continued to try and speak with his friend but saw Mr Cole “slumped down again in the van”.

Joel Ofoe, who played football with Julian and was with him all night, told the hearing he saw a “collision” between Julian, bouncers and police.

“I saw quite a lot of police officers run toward Julian which I thought was a bit unnecessary. Julian is on the floor so me and Martin run over.

“All I remember is running, a collision and police officers on top of Julian. I pulled one officer off of Julian.

“He was like 'get away, what you doing'. As he’s saying this to me Julian, he’s on the floor. Martin lifted his chin up and his head was down.

“He said: 'Julian are you alright?'.

“When I next look at Julian he had one officer interlocked on each arm and he was being draggd because his feet were limp so he was literally being dragged across the floor.”

He said he grabbed a shoe which had come off Julian as he was being dragged and tried to give it back to him as an excuse to check if his friend was okay.

“Julian’s head [was] hanging down, his feet are dragging on the floor limp. Really limp.

“I almost thought he’d just given up, accepted being arrested. It wasn’t ‘til I took the shoe towards when I see Julian. I shouted: 'Julian are you alright?'

“There was no response and that was when I thought there was something wrong.

“I just thought it was odd.”  

CCTV footage played at the hearing appears to show Mr Ofoe being held back by a friend as Julian is taken to the van, eventually breaking free and then remonstrating with a police officer at the back of the police van.

Mr Gomes admitted under questioning by counsel for PC Ross Kevin Baumber he had seen Julian carrying a bottle and looking angry and aggressive.

The case continues. 

View On Police Oracle


Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a very sad case indeed and I am sorry that a young man has lost so much over something that didn't need to be. It's also a shame that the narrative of his friends seems to apportion a lot of blame on everyone else for what happened in the incident, particularly the number of police officers used to restrain someone, in my experience the more you have the less injuries either parties will recieve. Alas, the concern of his friends wasn't their to influence him not to behave badly in the first case, although everyone must accept responsibility for their own actions, it is indeed a great shame.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paramedic complained IPCC investigator asked 'leading questions'

Julian Cole was left paralysed after a police incident in 2013.

Paramedic complained IPCC investigator asked 'leading questions'


Date - 12th October 2018
By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle
2 Comments2 Comments}


A paramedic who is credited with helping to save the life of a man who became paralysed shortly before or while in police custody, told a misconduct hearing she “wasn’t comfortable” with how her evidence was taken.

Sports science student Julian Cole was 19 on May 6, 2013 when he was arrested outside Elements night club in Mill Street, Bedford after an altercation with bouncers.

There is no conclusive evidence to show who or how his injuries were caused, but Mr Cole suffered a life-changing spinal cord injury which has left him paralysed and brain damaged.

Bedfordshire Police’s PC Ross, PC Oates and PC Kalyan are accused of failing to make any welfare checks on Mr Cole despite showing “obvious signs of serious injury” and “fabricating” evidence to deflect responsibility.

Sergeant Andrew Withy is accused of not making any welfare checks for Mr Cole but he is not accused of dishonesty.

Giving evidence at a misconduct hearing which started on Monday at the Holiday Inn in Stevenage, paramedic Caroline Dilley told the hearing she was unhappy with how the then-Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) took her statements.

Her statements to the police watchdog are crucial as they state PC Ross told her Mr Cole was “chatty” during the journey to Greyfriars police station and walked himself to their police van.

This conflicts with the evidence of Mr Cole’s friends who say he was dragged to the van and was showing signs of serious injury before he was taken to the police station.

Ms Dilley was one of two paramedics who responded to police calls for assistance when Mr Cole stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest.  

Consultant neurologist Professor Charles Davis told the hearing this morning he was “very impressed” with how she had resusicated Mr Cole as patients in his condition very rarely survive cardiac arrest.

Ms Dilley told the hearing there are large gaps in a statement taken by IPCC investigators on May 28 and it was “not written in a style I would write in”.

She said she felt uneasy and when the IPCC contacted her to make a second statement in 2015 she was reluctant to do so, particularly as she was at university and not working at the time. 

Ms Dilley was also concerned she did not have a clear memory of the night two years on. 

But the body called about five times and was “quite insistent” she said.

“In my mind it felt quite leading [the interview] as if the statement was put into words not how I would word them. I was unsure when I got it back what came from my memory and what came from what was suggested to me.

“When they printed it [her statement] I indicated I wasn’t happy to sign it. I wanted more time to go through it.

“They reiterated it was important to do it so the family could get closure. I started to get uneasy about the way they took my statement so I contacted Catherine [the investigator].

“I just felt uneasy.”

Her manager obtained a copy of her statement and helped her to write a letter of complaint, she said.  

The letter complained in general terms about the way in which her statement was taken and  suggested a number of corrections.

Her statement read: “On arrival there the female police officer told me the male in question had been in an altercation with a bouncer, he rushed the bouncer and was taken to the ground. He walked to the van but when they tried to remove him from the van he had gone floppy and collapsed.”

Instead she wanted it to read “he [Mr Cole] got out the van”.

She said she didn’t think stating the police officers said they tried to remove Mr Cole themselves from the van was a “true representation” of her recollection of the conversation.

When counsel for PC Ross Kevin Baumber asked her whether she would describe the pressure to give a second interview as emotional blackmail she responded "yes that would be fair". 

She also agreed she felt it would not be possible to separate her own recollections from the IPCC "suggestions" in her statement. 

She told the hearing she did not at any point realise Mr Cole had a neck injury. 

Dawid Michno, one of Mr Cole’s friends who went clubbing with him that night, raised concerns about how his statement was taken by the IPCC when he gave evidence on Tuesday.

His statement reads: “The police stood behind Julian inside the van and picked Julian up one step at a time”.

It also says he saw Mr Cole was being dragged into the van,

But Mr Michno told the misconduct panel: ”I don’t think this is right. Someone must have thought I saw him being put in the van.

“I did see someone prop [him] up in the van.

“I didn’t see him being dragged across the van. His back was to the wall. I did see someone prop him up. I didn’t see him being chucked in the van or dragged across the floor. The position of Julian is correct the rest of it is not.”

On Tuesday the four lawyers representing each of the police officers requested recordings of the IPCC interviews so they could compare them against the transcripts.

View On Police Oracle


Do you have an interesting news story? Contact the newsdesk on 0203 119 3303
or alternatively get in touch via the contact form.


no_photo.gifRAW Digital Media says...


Ordered by:
Hank - 27 minutes ago

If the IOPC are accused of misconduct, who does that get investigated by?

Michael - 36 minutes ago

The coercion of witnesses in order that they make a statement in line with the objectives of the investigators is one of the main factors in miscarriages of justice.

It is a recurring theme in internal police investigations.

It is called perverting the course of justice.

Not taking action against it is called a cover up

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

'Was this a cover up?' chairman asks PC in paralysed student misconduct case

Police officer was questioned for more than seven hours at misconduct hearing.

'Was this a cover up?' chairman asks PC in paralysed student misconduct case


Date - 16th October 2018
By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle


A police officer claimed she was instructed by a chief inspector to keep her record to only “minimal content” of an incident which left a 19-year-old man brain damaged and paralysed at a misconduct hearing.

Sports science student Julian Cole was arrested outside Elements night club in Mill Street, Bedford on May 6, 2013 after an altercation with bouncers. There is no conclusive evidence to prove how his injuries were caused but Mr Cole’s spinal cord was 90 per cent severed.

Bedfordshire Police PCs Hannah Ross, Nicholas Oates and Sanjeev Kalyan are accused of fabricating evidence to deflect responsibility and failing to make any welfare checks on Mr Cole.

Sergeant Andrew Withey is accused of not making any proper welfare checks.

During seven hours of gruelling cross-examination at a misconduct hearing at the Holiday Inn in Stevenage, PC Ross asserted again and again she was sure she had seen Mr Cole move his legs and she had no reason to believe she would be personally investigated when she finished her shift that night.

“We were told we’d done nothing wrong, to complete our personal notebooks and go back out to the town centre, which I didn’t at my personal request,” PC Ross told the hearing.

“My recollection is that none of us had done anything wrong and his [her chief inspector] concern was about the policing of the night time economy to continue. At no point did I even consider I would be sat here five and half years later.

“I was told to put minimal content into it as I was being interviewed the following Monday morning.”

Mark Ley-Morgan, counsel for Bedfordshire Police asked 36-year-old PC Ross: “He became extremely unwell to the point at which his heart stopped.

“Is it your evidence it didn’t even cross your mind? 

"Surely you were thinking to yourself questions are going to be asked about what happend to this man that caused him to go from fine to very very unwell whilst he was in my custody?”

She responded: “I didn’t contemplate it.”  

PC Ross maintained she thought Mr Cole had taken an “illegal substance”, was deliberately refusing to move or comply with instructions and although he complained of neck pain did not believe he required medical care until he stopped breathing.  

By her own admission her pocket notebook account of the May 6 incident is “appalling” with very few details, failing to mention Mr Cole had been “slammed” to the floor by a bouncer despite the fact she later recalled this during an interview.

However it did include her recollection Mr Cole had moved his legs.

Misconduct panel chairman John Basett asked her: "Was there a concerted effort [between herself and her colleagues] to blame the bouncer for Mr Cole’s injury in order to cover up your deficiencies?”

She responded: “Defintely not sir.”  

Yesterday when questioned about why she had not made her own notes PC Ross responded that she had - to the surprise of her own lawyer.

She brought in several pages of handwritten notes this morning and although Mr Ley-Morgan repeatedly questioned her about whether she had photocopied them, the contents were not read out to the hearing.

A security worker's statement was also read out in part today, describing how he thought Mr Cole had died when he saw him being taken to the police van opposite Elements “his head was at a very bad angle and [he was not] moving".

PC Ross said she did not agree with that account.

The case continues.

View On Police Oracle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Three PCs and sergeant did not make proper welfare checks on paralysed student

Gross misconduct found against dishonest constables.

Three PCs and sergeant did not make proper welfare checks on paralysed student


Date - 22nd October 2018
By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle


Three PCs failed to make proper welfare checks after a man sustained a devastating spinal cord injury. They then lied about whether they saw him move his legs, a misconduct panel has ruled.

Student Julian Cole was 19 on May 6, 2013, when he was arrested outside Elements nightclub in Bedford after an altercation with bouncers. There is inconclusive evidence to determine how his injuries occurred, but Mr Cole was left paralysed and brain damaged.

The breaches of honesty and integrity of Bedfordshire PCs Hannah Ross, Nicholas Oates and Sanjeev Kalyan amount to gross misconduct and a failure to conduct welfare checks were deemed misconduct by the panel.

Allegations regarding use of force were not proven against PC Ross.

Sergeant Andrew Withey was found to have committed misconduct for his failure to conduct welfare checks, chairman John Bassett concluded this morning.

Sgt Withey asked his lawyer not to make any mitigation on his behalf but read out a statement directed to Mr Cole’s family instead.

He said: "I accept I didn’t conduct proper assessments and failed to ask further questions which is something I bitterly regret.

"I realise the decision being made today is insignificant compared with the suffering of Mr Cole and his family and I am very sorry.”  

Mr Bassett expressed his sympathies to Mr Cole’s family and paid tribute to the “dignified” manner in which they have conducted themselves.

His mother has attended every day of the two-week hearing and repeatedly watched distressing footage of her son being dragged across a road.

Mr Bassett said the panel is satisfied the fracture to Mr Cole’s spinal column occurred before he was handcuffed and taken to the police van.

“By that time, on the evidence, he had been subjected to a forceful “take down” by one of the door staff and, having - to put it neutrally - been brought up again, had gone to the ground again in what has been described as a 'melee'.

“Nothing occurred thereafter that could have resulted in the fracture to Mr Cole’s spinal column.

“The panel is further satisfied, especially, having closely examined the CCTV recordings, that when Mr Cole started to be taken across the road to the police van, there was movement in his legs which is capable of being described as walking.

“However, as Mr Cole was taken across the road, there was a significant change in his gait. It is apparent from […] CCTV that his legs are no longer moving and he is being dragged across the rest of the road to the van.”

Mr Bassett accepted the constables had an honestly held perception Mr Cole was being “passively resistant” and uncooperative.

But there must have come a time when they realised they were “horribly mistaken” he said.

He ruled the three PCs were lying when they claimed Mr Cole had walked across the road and pulled his own legs into the van.

Counsel for Bedfordshire Police Mark Ley-Morgan told the misconduct panel he believes the conduct of the PCs amounts to operational dishonesty and dismissal should be “inevitable”.

“They have maintained their lies until the bitter end,” he said.

“I do say forcefully that the conduct of the officers has caused and is likely to cause operational harm.

“Certainly in terms of welfare checks there did not seem to be any real acceptance that even on what they knew they should have done better.”

Kevin Baumber, counsel for PC Ross, said the incident will affect her for the rest of her life. She sobbed as the finding was delivered.

“It would be impossible I imagine to give more punishment than PC Ross is living with anyway.

“More than half the allegations set against PC Ross are not proven.

PC Ross is a hardworking, professional asset to this force she has served in the years intervening with dedication and success.

“That is not an easy thing to do when you are under the threat of proceedings, in the spotlight. She’s kept going, she kept serving and making a difference.

“She’s not a bad apple.”

A decision on the future of their careers is expected this afternoon. 

View On Police Oracle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, SimonT said:

The only possible outcome. Stupid of them to lie in their statements. I understand that they panicked in the heat of the moment but by lying they've just dug themselves a hole. If they had just told the truth they'd probably still be in the job based on the other findings.

I take issue with the guardian article having to highlight that the lad is black to create a race issue out of nowhere. The story is tragic though and I hope the family have got some sense of closure from this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fed considers appeal against dismissal of PCs over paralysed student incident

Three PCs dismissed for lying in their accounts.

Julian Cole

Julian Cole

Date - 23rd October 2018
By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle


An assistant chief constable has said it is “unacceptable” that investigations into officers’ actions on the night a student was paralysed dragged on for five years, and a staff association is considering whether to appeal the dismissal of three PCs.

PCs Hannah Ross, Nicholas Oates and Sanjeev Kalyan were dismissed from Bedfordshire Police yesterday for lying about claims 19-year-old Julian Cole moved his legs in their police van and walked across a road.

His spinal cord was 90 per cent severed and he remains in a vegetative state.

The officers were not accused of causing or worsening his injuries as there is no conclusive evidence to prove how or when exactly they occurred. But they were found to have failed to make proper checks on his welfare.


Mr Cole was infuriated when he was thrown out of the nightclub on May 6, 2013 and argued with bouncers about whether he was entitled to a refund.

The exchange became heated and the police were called. Mr Cole’s friends forcefully escorted him away but he came back and tried to run into the club.

A security guard, who did not give evidence during the two-week misconduct hearing, “rugby tackled” Mr Cole to the ground with significant force and police officers helped to restrain and then handcuffed the young man.

Mr Cole was dragged across the road to a waiting police van and pulled inside, although the panel accept he may have initially been walking or standing with assistance. He was driven to nearby Greyfriars Police Station where he collapsed, stopped breathing and suffered cardiac arrest.


Bedfordshire Police Federation chairman Jim Mallen told Police Oracle: “It is devastating that three hard-working, respected police officers were dismissed without notice at the conclusion of the hearing.

“An appeal against their dismissal is being considered by our legal team.

“The panel formed a view after hearing evidence of an incident that occurred five-and-a-half years ago.

“It is disappointing that more emphasis was not given to this span of time that clearly impacted on the memories of all of those involved in this incident.”

Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire also lambasted the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for the length of time it took to start the proceedings.

She said: “This hearing in essence reviewed a seven-minute encounter which took place more than five years ago, and I agree with the panel that the length of time the IOPC and CPS enquiries have taken to get to this stage is simply unacceptable to Mr Cole, his family, the officers concerned and the force.

“On far too many occasions investigations such as these take years to come to a resolution and this cannot be right.

“It is clear that no evidence was found that any of the officers involved were in any way to blame for the catastrophic injuries suffered by Mr Cole.”

She added: “At the centre of our thoughts today are of course Julian Cole, his family and friends.

“This case is an absolute tragedy, which has had a devastating effect on a young man and his loved ones, and we should not forget that.

“This misconduct hearing focused on the actions of our officers in the care given to Mr Cole and their honesty and integrity in the events following his injury. I apologise that their conduct following the incident fell well short of what we expect at Bedfordshire Police."

The former student's mother Claudia Cole, giving a statement after the hearing, said it was a “good day for all the family”.


“This tribunal decision makes it clear that not only did the officers lie about events involving Julian but they showed an inhuman indifference to his welfare.

“We won’t stop until we know who put Julian in a vegetative state and until they have had to answer for what they did in criminal court.”

On delivering the panel’s findings, chairman John Bassett said: “In the panel’s opinion, the dishonesty of Hannah Ross, Nicholas Oates and Sanjeev Kalyan does by its very nature pose a serious threat to public confidence in and respect for the police service.

“Public confidence in Bedfordshire Police would be seriously undermined if it were to be known that, by the imposition of final written warnings, it had retained the services of these officers after they conducted themselves as they did.

“Their false accounts were intended to mislead and to divert attention away from each of them when their actions, as they inevitably would, came under scrutiny. Acting in such a way is the complete opposite of what is expected of police officers.”

“What differentiates Andrew Withey from the other three officers in this regard is his supervisory role as sergeant.

“He failed to act, not only on what he heard himself, but also on what was reported to him. In short, his conduct was the opposite of what the public and police expect of a supervisor.”

Sgt Withey received a final written warning.


The testimonies of the two paramedics who came to Mr Cole’s aid, Paul Sim and Caroline Dilley, were largely discounted after it emerged they both wrote letters of complaints about the way the-then Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) conducted their interviews.

They felt they were asked leading questions, the written statements did not accurately reflect their version of events and had been reluctant to give their second statements in 2015 as they could no longer recall the incident in much detail.

The IPCC, now the IOPC, launched an investigation in May 2013 and referred their findings to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The CPS decided no criminal conduct could be identified and no one was charged with any offence.

The Cole family requested a review, but the CPS upheld their original decision.

Bedfordshire Police were directed by the IOPC to hold a misconduct hearing into accusations against four of the officers involved that night.

IOPC regional director Sarah Green said: “Julian Cole was a young athletic man whose life was changed forever.

“It will never be known exactly how his neck was broken, or if swifter care could have prevented the awful consequences of the break.

“The panel today have concluded however that the officers failed in their duty to provide adequate welfare checks, and worse, that three of them were dishonest in how they presented their version of events.

“This dishonesty has only added to the anguish of Mr Cole’s family.

“We made learning recommendations to Bedfordshire Police as our investigation progressed and received feedback that as a consequence the force had improved its first aid training and conducts a continuous programme of review to ensure the training is current and relevant.”

View On Police Oracle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...