Body-worn footage to be used in inquest of man who fell from car park

Emergency services at scene of incident in Norwich city centre.

Emergency services in Norwich city centre on the day of Christopher Billham's death - Credit: Simon Parkin

Footage and audio taken from cameras worn by police officers will be used as evidence in the inquest of a man who died after falling from a city car park.

Christopher Billham, 54, died in Duke Street, Norwich on July 28, 2020, after falling from St Andrew's car park in the city centre.

An inquest into his death will be held in October and is scheduled to last two weeks, with area coroner Yvonne Blake set to call a jury for the hearing. 

Emergency services on the scene in Norwich city centre. Picture: Archant

Emergency services close to St Andrew's car park in Norwich. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

And at a pre-inquest hearing, it was agreed that body-worn footage from police officers that attended the incident would be used as part of the evidence.

The footage, which includes both audio and video evidence, will be used to examine the response of the emergency services during the incident.

It saw a sustained emergency services presence in the city centre across the course of a day and well into the evening.

Police were called at around 8am on the Monday in question, with negotiators, medical advisors and further specially-trained officers attending the scene.

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It saw a police presence for more than 12 hours, alongside firefighters, before Mr Billham, of Keswick, fell from the building and died at the scene at around 11.45pm that night.

During the hearing, which lasted around 45 minutes, Ms Blake led discussions around which witnesses would be required to give live evidence and which would provide it via written statements.

Witnesses required to give evidence during the two-week inquest will include police officers and firefighters that attended the scene, as well as medical professionals involved in mental health treatment he was receiving ahead of his death.

The court heard how Mr Billham had previously been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, but at the time was receiving care in the community - rather than under the care of a medical facility.

The hearing, which was held via Microsoft Teams, was attended by legal representatives for Mr Billham's family, Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Ms Blake adjourned the hearing until a further pre-inquest review on September 4, with the full inquest scheduled to begin on October 4.

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