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Mohamud Hassan inquest opens: Cause of death ‘unascertained’

DOCTORS have said they are baffled over the death of a young black man just hours after being released from police custody, an inquest heard today.

Mohamud Hassan, 24, died less than 24 hours after being released by police after he was questioned on suspicion of a public order offence.

His death sparked days of Black Lives Matter protests in Cardiff – with hundreds of demonstrators holding vigils outside Cardiff Bay Police Station.

South Wales Police insist there was no wrongdoing in the lead up to his death, but force watchdog the IOPC is carrying out an investigation and one officer has already been served a misconduct notice.

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Michael Mansfield QC, representing the Hassan family, said: “The family are very concerned to get to the truth and to have these matters aired properly.”

An inquest opening today heard that Mr Hassan was last seen alive at around 5pm on January 9 before being found unconscious at around 10.30pm.

Coroner’s officer Claire Ponting told Pontypridd Coroner’s Court a friend called 999, and Mr Hassan was pronounced dead 20 minutes later.

She said: “There is an ongoing IOPC investigation into events in the lead up to Mr Hassan’s death.

“A post-mortem was carried out by Dr Deryk James at the University Hospital Wales, Cardiff on January 12, 2021.”

She said Mr Hassan’s provisional cause of death was given as “1A: unascertained”.

South Wales Central coroner Graeme Hughes formally opened the inquest and ordered a pre-inquest review to take place in December.

He said: “Given that Deryk James indicates in his most recent report he has been unable to indicate a medical cause of death at this time it falls upon me to conduct an investigation into Mohamud Hassan’s death.”

Mr Hughes said the IOPC would look at “his arrest and detention” on January 8 as well as police conduct “up to an including the time of his death”.

The hearing was told the IOPC investigation had suffered delays because of problems obtaining CCTV but it was hoped it could be completed with six months.

Mr Hughes added: “My condolences go out to Mohamud’s family as well as to his wider family and friends.”

Mr Hughes said he would wait until the conclusion of the IOPC probe before carrying out the full inquest.

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