Edson Da Costa inquest: Paramedics given wrong address, court hears
PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:47 28 May 2019
Paramedics rushing to help a young father who died following a police stop were ‘left in the dark’ after they were given the wrong address, a court heard.
Edir Da Costa, also known as Edson, of Wilton Way, Hackney, lost his life in hospital six days after plain-clothes officers tried to arrest him in the Woodcocks estate in Beckton on June 15, 2017.
During the arrest attempt the car trader was pinned to the ground with wraps of Class A drugs later found in his mouth.
When Edson became unresponsive one of the offiers radioed for an ambulance at 10.05pm.
But an inquest jury at Walthamstow Coroner's Court heard on Wednesday that London Ambulance Service (LAS) staff were at first incorrectly told by a Met emergency call handler that the 25-year-old was in 'Woodcoat'.
Met communications officer, Danielle Michael, giving evidence, said: "It was noisy [in the office] with 30 people. We are constantly busy. It's a very busy borough, Newham."
Senior coroner, Nadia Persaud, questioning the work conditions, said: "These are emergency calls. It is vital you hear the information. If it's busy and noisy that could be critical. I'm not being critical of you. In these circumstances nearly every second counts."
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Ms Michael explained that a police computer had generated a map reference after she typed in 'Woodcoat' which it wouldn't do if such a place didn't exist, making her think she had the right address.
But the coordinates corresponded to somewhere in Surrey.
After realising the mistake, Ms Michael changed the location to Woodcocks but the correction was not shared with the LAS until a police constable based in Hendon spotted the error.
That officer agreed after barrister Henrietta Hill QC, acting for Edson's family, asked him: "Did it concern you that [the LAS] were in the dark about where the correct address was?"
Ms Hill added that some of the reasons for delays in the paramedics' arrival were due to issues to do with location.
The ambulance service was also told at 10.07pm on June 15 that Edson was conscious and breathing. It added he had resisted arrest and swallowed drugs.
But seconds later the message was updated to correctly say Edson was not breathing, the court heard.
The inquest continues.
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