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Smiley Culture inquest finds reggae star died from self-inflicted stab-wound

Smiley Culture inquest finds reggae star died from self-inflicted stab-wound

Reggae star Smiley Culture died from a self-inflicted stab wound to the chest during a police raid at his home, an inquest jury has found.

Surrey coroner Richard Travers said he would make a report to the Metropolitan police on changes or improvements to the supervision of a prisoner at their home during a search.

The 48-year-old singer, real name David Emmanuel, died from a single stab wound to the heart while police executed a search warrant at his Surrey home on 15 March 2011.

The jury of five men and six women took 12 hours and 52 minutes to reach their majority verdict on Tuesday.

The jury foreman said: “David Victor Emmanuel took his own life. Although the tragic events of 15 March 2011 were unforeseeable, giving one officer the responsibility of supervising Mr Emmanuel and at the same time the premises search book was a contributory factor in his death.”

The inquest heard that he stabbed himself after being arrested at the property in Warlingham.

The police inquiries concerned allegations of conspiring to import class A drugs into the UK, the court heard.

Smiley Culture found fame with a string of 1980s hits including CockneyTranslation, and appeared on Top of the Pops.

The inquest, which began on 12 June, took place at Woking borough council’s civic offices.

The stabbing happened in the kitchen when the musician stood up from his chair and “obtained a knife from an unknown location”, the jury stated.

The coroner passed on his condolences to Mr Emmanuel’s family, including his daughter Shanice McConnachie, who had been in court throughout the hearing.

After the verdict Smiley’s cousin, Merlin Emmanuel, said: “We have lost an integral part of our family.

“He had a lot of hope and he had a lot to live for. Why he should have wanted to end his life in that way I do not know, but I do not think he should have been in a position to do that.


July 6th, 2016

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