Joshua Ball, 26, died after being restrained by Staffordshire Police on 28 May 2018. Now, an inquest will open on 6 February 2023 to establish the full circumstances of his death. It is expected to last five weeks.
Joshua was from Stoke-on-Trent. A father of one, he was a natural entertainer and regularly hosted a karaoke event at a local pub. A beloved son, his family said he “melted hearts at school, on state, on the football pitch and in any environment he found himself in throughout his life.”
On 28 May, police were called to an incident in Newchapel, Stoke-on-Trent after members of the public had seen Joshua acting erratically. Joshua was under the influence of cocaine at the time. He was covered in blood and appeared to have self-harmed.
At 1.45pm, Staffordshire police officers arrived. They handcuffed and restrained Joshua on the ground and placed a spit hood over his head.
Body worn video footage, which will be shown to the jury, shows that officers discussed whether Joshua was suffering from Acute Behavioural Disturbance (ABD). This is a set of symptoms which often arise during restraint, which police are generally trained to recognise and respond to as a medical emergency.
Paramedics were called and Joshua was taken to Royal Stoke Hospital by West Midlands Ambulance Service. He suffered a seizure on the way to the hospital.
Joshua arrived at the hospital at 2.40pm. He suffered two cardiac arrests and presented symptoms of internal bleeding. Joshua subsequently underwent an emergency laparotomy. During his time in theatre, Joshua suffered four further cardiac arrests and died.
The family have serious concerns about the actions of those involved in the restraint and potential failures to take steps to assist Joshua when he was going through a mental health crisis. They hope that the inquest will examine Joshua’s medical cause of death including the effect of the restraint on his condition, the actions of the members of the public and police officers.
Joshua’s father, Stephen Ball, commented: “I am grateful that the inquest is finally happening. I want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to come out about how my son Joshua met his death. I thank everyone for their continued support during this incredibly difficult time.”
NOTES TO EDITORS For further information, please contact Patrick Dunne on firstname.lastname@example.org
The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group Members Daniel Lemberger Cooper and Patrick Dunne of Imran Khan and Partners solicitors, Lorna Skinner K.C. of Matrix Chambers, and Paul Clark of Garden Court Chambers. The INQUEST caseworker is Caroline Finney.
Other interested persons represented at the inquest are Staffordshire Police, Independent Office for Police Conduct, West Midlands Ambulance Service and Royal Stoke University Hospital.