Although he cannot now recall the exact time, Police Constable Julian Lashley said the late Corey Antonio Best was left unharmed following a strip search on April 13, 2017.
Lashley today told the Coroner’s Inquest into Best’s death presided over by Coroner Manila Renee that he was on duty at Oistins Police Station when he heard a commotion. He went to the hall and saw Station Sergeant Leslie Arthur taking the former of Hopefield, Charnocks, Christ Church resident to the cells.
Lashley stated that he met Arthur and Best in the station’s hallway and accompanied them but “I do not recall the time”.
“Sergeant Arthur was holding [Best] by the back of his pants with one hand and by the arm with the other.” He said Corey was “cursing”.
They then took him to the first cell where he was asked to strip and was searched.
“He did not resist the order [by Arthur]. He complied . . . he was asked to replace his clothing and he did so including his jeans.
“Both Sergeant Arthur and I then left the cell. When we left Corey was alive and unharmed. That was last time that I saw the deceased alive,” Lashley told the inquest.
Best, was reportedly found hanging sometime later while in police custody.
Consultant Pathologist Dr Corinthia Dupree, who conducted the postmortem on the body of the 33-year-old was crossed examined today by Tristan Elcock, lawyer for the family of the deceased.
She said the deceased had a 26 centimetre mark around the neck angled towards the back of both ears as well as some other minor injuries including bruising which could only have happened before his death.
However, she could not say for certain the time of death because the post mortem was conducted 11 days after, on April 24, and the body had been in the fridge.
Brother of the deceased Javan Best also took the stand.
He said that he received a call from Arthur around 5 p.m. on April 13, 2017 informing him about the hanging death. He went to the scene but “I did not go into the cell. I did not want to see my brother in that state”. He however made it clear that the police did not prevent him from entering the cell.