Edson Da Costa inquest: Young father’s ID found with 12 inch zombie knife in car, police claim

Edson Da Costa. Picture: submitted

Edson Da Costa. Picture: submitted - Credit: Archant

The ID card of a young father who died after being detained by police was found along with a 12 inch zombie knife, balaclava and cash in a car, police have claimed.

Edir Da Costa, of Wilton Way, Hackney, was 25 when he died following a police stop on the Woodcocks Estate in Beckton on June 15, 2017.

Known as Edson, the car trader died in hospital six days later.

At the inquest into his death at Walthamstow Coroner's Court, a jury heard Edson's ID was found with the knife, balaclava and cash in a black Volkswagen car parked near the Ibis Hotel in Stratford on April 29, 2017.

The court heard Edson and two associates, Claude Greenaway and Jussara Gomes, drove to Beckton that night in a rented, Mercedes A-Class to buy drinks for a birthday party.

Mr Greenaway had told the court he attempted to pull officers off his friend after he was pinned down by four officers.

Neil Saunders, acting for the officers, said he didn't accept Mr Greenaway's version.

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"It's not a fabricated story," Mr Greenaway said.

Mr Saunders suggested Edson was 'rugby tackled' to the ground he tried to flee and had put the wraps in his mouth before getting out of the car.

He added four officers were needed because of the struggle Edson put up.

Mr Greenaway agreed there was nothing to indicate Edson was choking during the restraint but disagreed when Mr Saunders suggested two officers used 'distraction' blows in their struggle to cuff him.

Acting for the Met, John Begs QC, said: "The police did not put 87 wraps of crack and heroin in Edir's hand that evening, did they?

"And they did not put Edir into that mess.

"And the police did not send Edir out to deal drugs or put the wraps into Edir's throat."

Mr Greenaway replied: "I feel this [questioning] is drawing away from the facts. I don't feel comfortable. I should have someone here to help me. You're making it seem like I'm a bad person."

He denied it when Mr Begs shot back: "You contributed to the circumstances that led to his death, didn't you?"

The heated exchange came after Mr Begs listed a string of offences committed by Mr Greenaway.

These included possessing crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply for which he was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court to 38 months in prison on August 18, 2017, along with his and Edson's flatmate, referred to as 'TP', jailed for 33 months.

Mr Greenaway denied drug dealing in Stratford and in Newham in the weeks leading up to June 15.

When asked if he agreed dealing inflicted misery on the community, Mr Greenaway replied that he couldn't say.

Mr Begs said: "You were quick to tell the coroner your friend Edson was suffering, but you were inflicting suffering on the local community."

And he denied knowing Edson had drugs on June 15 or that there was ammonia in the boot of the Mercedes.

The inquest continues.