Edson Da Costa inquest: Father says his family deserves to know ‘the truth’ about how he died

Edson Da Costa. Picture: submitted

Edson Da Costa. Picture: submitted - Credit: Archant

The father of a man who died after being stopped by police has said the family deserves to know ‘the truth’ about how he lost his life.

Edir Da Costa, known to friends and family as Edson, was detained in Beckton on June 15, 2017 and died in Newham University Hospital six days later.

His father, Ginario Da Costa, in a statement read at Walthamstow Coroner's Court today, said: "I have waited almost two years to know what happened to Edson that night.

"As a family we deserve to know the truth."

Recounting seeing Edson in hospital, he stated: "I will never forget what I saw. No parent should have to see their child in the condition I saw Edson."

He added that his son, who lived in Wilton Way, Hackney, was not a rebel but had 'flaws'.

The court heard how Ginario brought his first born child to the UK from Portugal, where he was born, at the age of five because he wanted to give his son 'the best education' and his relationship with Edson's mother ended.

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On arriving in Stratford it took Edson time to adapt with no English but he vowed to learn the language and did so within a few months.

Ginario said Edson made a lot of friends and enjoyed English, maths and sport science at school, going on to coach football as a volunteer.

The court heard how he dreamed of opening up his own garage and became a proud father in 2014.

But the jury also heard Ginario tried hard to steer Edson away from trouble after his son made 'some bad friendships'.

The jury of 11 heard that Edson got mixed up in the London riots in 2011 but his dad persuaded him to go to college to study hospitality in a bid to get him back on track.

The jurors also heard Edson had pleaded guilty to a string of offences including burglary and theft in 2011; burglary and violent disorder in 2012 and possession of a class A drug in 2015.

It was also revealed that in an intelligence report following his death police had linked Edson with the street name 'Lip Lip' and to a group known as the 'Portuguese Mafia' which hanged around McDonald's and the Stratford Centre.

However, the court heard that the family could no longer discuss that information with Edson 'so the intelligence remains untested'.

In his statement, Ginario said: "Edson has gone now but he has left us all with a special gift in his son.

"He made me happy. He did not want to leave us.

"He loved us. He will continue to love us. Our lives will never be the same. Edson, I love you with all my heart.

"You have taught me how short life is. I look forward to seeing you when the time comes."

The inquest continues.