Police officers who took down the body of 33-year-old Corey Antonio Best which was found hanging in a cell at the Oistins Police Station almost two years ago did not check for a pulse nor did they perform any other acts of resuscitation.
That evidence was revealed today as the inquest into the unnatural death of the
former of Hopefield, Charnocks, Christ Church resident continued before Coroner Manila Renee at the Cane Garden, St Thomas court.
Best was reportedly found hanging about 3 a.m. on April 13, 2017 while in police custody.
Police Constable Jason Greene was on duty on the day when his colleague police constable Peter Small sounded the alarm at the discovery in the cell.
According to an entry made in the daily station diary on that day at 3:02 a.m. PC Greene wrote that he and three other officers including PC Ranaldo Holder took the body down.
According to the entry PC Greene then “immediately proceeded” to the front office to contact the ambulance service which was unavailable. He subsequently contacted Dr Ross Herbert.
Under questioning by Best’s family lawyer Tristan Elcock, PC Greene revealed “at the time he [Corey] did not appear to be breathing” and although he previously had first aid training “I did not check for breathing or a pulse.
“When I did my initial training . . . and since then I have not practiced any first aid training,” PC Greene said, acknowledging that his training was conducted three years ago.
Asked by Elcock whether he did not feel capable of performing such checks, the officer replied: “No ma’am.”
PC Greene added: “My first thing is usually to get some kind of medical attention and my way of doing that was trying to get the ambulance . . . . My thinking is that CPR is a very ticklish procedure and if not preformed properly, the correct way, it could in fact injure that person,” he stated in response to Elcock’s questioning.
The officer also told the inquest that he “did not observe” any of the other officers attempt to check for pulse, breathing or attempt CPR.
Police Constable Holder’s responses to the attorney’s questions were similar.
He explained that when Best’s body was taken down “he was in an unconscious state” however he did not make any checks for a pulse, breathing nor did he administer CPR.
“In the initial stage of training we get first aid training but it is not extended throughout,” Holder said.
Two other officers, Station Sergeants Leslie Arthur and Roger Craigg, were also cross-examined by Elcock before the over three-hour sitting, which was attended by Best’s mother, girlfriend and other family members, was adjourned until February 21.