NEWS

Asylum Seeker Osman Rasul Mohammed Falls To Death After Crowd Taunts

06/10/2011 11:47 | Updated 05 December 2011

An Iraqi asylum seeker died after falling from a block of flats in Nottingham while being taunted by a crowd below, an inquest has heard.

A Nottingham coroner found it inconclusive whether he slipped, or jumped, to his death last July, noted that he was in a distressed state about his immigration status at the time and he feared deportation.

Coroner Maureen Casey, told the inquest: "One of the witnesses noted that it looked like he tried to grab the railing. We cannot be sure that, at that point, he wanted to kill himself."

She said it was "an horrific scene" because there was a crowd below the balcony "baying for the vulnerable man to jump".

A resident of the block, Sarah Hind, saw Mohammed out of her window at 17:00. Police then spent two hours trying to talk him down, but he suddenly fell around 19:00. The inquest heard that he had traces of cannabis in his bloodstream and that he appeared to be praying while on the balcony.

Mohammed, 27, had apparently been distressed about having his asylum application refused. He had been in Britain for almost nine years, in legal limbo since 2001, when his latest application to stay in the country was finally rejected last year.

He had arrived in Britain claiming Iraq was unsafe for him with its Kurdish political factions. His application to stay on this basis was rejected, and then his second attempt to stay with his sons, who are British citizens, also failed.

"He was living on £20 a month in charitable donations plus gifts of food. He was a destitute asylum-seeker and had been sleeping on the streets", Bea Tobolewska of the Nottingham Refugee Forum told the Guardian.

Suggest a correction