London

Jimmy Mubenga: Deportee heard screaming 'I can't breathe'

Jimmy Mubenga with his wife Adrienne Makenda Kambana Image copyright PA
Image caption Jimmy Mubenga had lived in Ilford after arriving in the UK in 1994

The cries of an Angolan deportee who died after being restrained on a flight out of the UK were audible 15 rows away from his seat, a court has heard.

Jimmy Mubenga, 46, died on 12 October 2010.

He could be heard saying "I can't breathe" to three G4S guards, passenger David Brown told the Old Bailey.

Colin Kaler, 51, from Bedfordshire, Terrence Hughes, 53, from Hampshire, and Stuart Tribelnig, 38, from Surrey, deny the manslaughter of Mr Mubenga.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Colin Kaler and Terence Hughes (right) deny manslaughter

Mr Brown told the court he could still hear what was going on after being moved from economy class row 39, the same as Mr Mubenga, to the premium economy row 24.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Stuart Tribelnig also denies manslaughter

He told the court: "I could hear that things were still happening. I could still hear him saying 'I can't breathe, I can't breathe'."

Mr Brown, who was en-route to work in Angola, told the jury that after sitting down in his economy World Traveller seat he saw Mr Mubenga flanked by guards in the middle three seats of the Boeing 777.

He said the Angolan national was on his knees with his hands tied behind his back.

Mr Brown said he heard the deportee scream and repeatedly say: "I can't breathe, let me up."

The defence questioned Mr Brown's version of events, saying he made two later statements about what had happened, and did not mention he had heard Mr Mubenga say anything from his seat further forward.

The trial has previously heard that at 20:20, the flight crew on the BA plane contacted the Heathrow control tower saying they had a "medical emergency" as they were taxiing towards the runway.

Mr Mubenga was later pronounced dead in Hillingdon Hospital in west London.

The trial continues.

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