Friday, 16 November 2007


It would seem from todays Times that it is not just London police who have a trigger happy attitude when it comes to suspected terrorists; they also have a reciprocated agreement with their fellow officers in Leeds.

Nicholas Gilbert,34, slipped into a diabetic coma whilst on the top deck of a bus in Leeds. The driver of said bud, seeing Mr Gilbert slumped over holding his bag, naturally phoned the police. On arrival, armed police were unable to get Gilbert’s attention (he was in a coma remember) so shot him twice with a Taser gun. Sadly the only shot the victim needed was of insulin.

As he came round in the back of a police wagon, Nicholas managed to persuade police officers that he needed urgent medical attention. He was rushed to hospital for treatment, but police still insisted he remained handcuffed while he received treatment.

And what was the police excuse for shooting Mr Gilbert. Well, to be honest, it was a heinous crime: he looked Egyptian!

The Independent Police Complaints Authority conducted a lengthy investigation into this incident which occurred in July 2005, admittedly shortly after the London bombings. However, Leeds has no track record of racial tensions, and has never been a hot bed for international terrorism. After the incident, a West Yorkshire Police spokesman justified the shooting by explaining: “Officers made repeated requests for the man to get off the bus or acknowledge them, but he did not respond.” Of course he didn’t, he was in a coma.

Ifti Manzoor, of Irwin Mitchell, the law firm that is representing Mr Gilbert, said that he had been instructed “to take legal action against the police for unlawful arrest as well as the unlawful use of excessive force”.

Sadly, Councillor Potts missed this one. He could have added an innocent Egyptian to his innocent Brazilian quips!


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