A Chelmsley Wood man who died after being taken ill in a Coventry police cell had been due to stand trial over allegations of driving dangerously and assault.
But that file was marked ‘closed’ after a judge at Warwick Crown Court was told of Mark Yafai’s death while in police custody earlier this month.
Yafai (27) of Longley Walk, Chelmsley Wood, had pleaded not guilty at the court in January to driving a Renault Meganne dangerously between Mill Street and Rye Piece Ringway in Bedworth in March last year.
He had also denied further charges of assaulting a man called Daniel Owen, causing him actual bodily harm, and possessing cannabis on the same occasion, and was awaiting trial.
But the case was listed ‘for mention,’ and prosecutor Geoffrey Dann told the court: “The defendant is deceased.”
Yafai had been arrested at a hotel in Coventry on suspicion of affray, but became unwell in his cell at Little Park Street police station at around 6am on July 1.
He was taken to hospital where he later died, and the matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission who will investigate the circumstances.
Ordering that the file be marked ‘closed,’ Judge Alan Parker said: “Having seen an interim death certificate dated the 8th of July, I am satisfied of the death and of the deceased being the person who was sent for trial.”