UPDATED: Luke Rhoden inquest verdict

Luke Rhoden
Luke Rhoden

A jury has concluded that excessive force used by police officers contributed to Luke Rhoden’s death.

The 25-year-old died of a cardiac arrest while being restrained by police officers in Ibiza during a stag do in September 2014.

Mr Rhoden’s dad Norman had been hoping for a verdict of unlawful killing which could have opened up the possibility of civil action against Spanish Police.

In a narrative conclusion, a jury found Mr Rhoden died from asphyxiation caused by the excessive restraining methods adopted by officers and an adverse reaction to drug use.

The bench concluded that although Mr Rhoden’s medical cause of death was unascertained, he died as a result asphyxia and drugs.

Reacting to the verdict, Luke’s dad Norman Rhoden said: “I feel good in the sense that the jury has recognised that the police were to blame for Luke’s death, that excessive force was used and one of the causes of death was asphyxiation.

“I would have liked the coroner to direct (the jury) to an unlawful killing verdict but he felt there wasn’t enough to do that. So the fight’s not over yet, we’ll carry on with this in Spain, I’ll speak to my legal team and see where we can take it from here. They’ve assured me that we can go further with this.

“I do feel a little disappointed, because the Spanish (Police) chose not to interact that hampered our chances of getting an unlawful killing verdict. Had they been involved that (verdict) would have been brought because they had no way of defending it due to the video evidence and the witness statements that were given.

“It is my belief that he was unlawfully killed.”

The questions put to the jury were as follows:

1. Do you find that Mr Rhoden died in the street near the Ibiza Rocks Hotel in San Antonio, Ibiza between 11pm and midnight on September 2, 2014?

Yes we do

2. What conclusions do you reach in relation to Mr Rhoden’s consumption of alcohol and/or illicit drugs whilst in Ibiza on September 1 and 2, 2014?

Excessive amounts

3. What conclusions do you reach in relation to Mr Rhoden’s behaviour and mental state in the period after approximately 8pm on the evening of September 2, 2014?

Hallucinating and erratic

4. Do you find that Mr Rhoden was restrained by the police in Ibiza on the street near the Ibiza Rocks Hotel at approximately 11pm on September 2, 2014?

Yes we do

5. If so, what conclusions do you reach concerning the manner in which the police dealt with Mr Rhoden in this period?

Excessive force was used to restrain Mr Rhoden

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