Grieving mother seeks answers from Norfolk Police after not being contacted during 14 hour stand-off in Costessey
06:30 23 August 2014
A grieving mother is demanding answers from Norfolk Police after she was not contacted by officers during a 14 hour stand-off, which ended in the death of her eldest child.
Forty-year-old Kamal Nour was pronounced dead in Costessey last Thursday after he had barricaded himself into his home at Quarry Road, Queen’s Hills, and threatened to harm himself.
His mother Norma spoke of her horror after she was only informed of the incident involving her son 19 hours after the stand-off started and more than five hours following the death of her son.
The 59-year-old, of Bressingham, near Diss, said she had been helping her son with his battle against depression for the last seven years and feels that Kamal’s death could have been prevented if she had been made aware of the police stand-off and had been able to speak to him.
Mrs Nour added that the police were aware that her son was a risk to himself after she asked officers to knock down the door of the housing association-owned property in Queen’s Hills in 2011 because of fears about his wellbeing.
Police were called to the Costessey home at 6am last Thursday at the start of the stand-off, which involved specially trained officers, including police negotiators and medical advisors.
When they forced entry to the home at 8pm that day he was found injured inside and could not be resuscitated. An inquest, which opened and adjourned this week, heard that Mr Nour had hanged himself.
Mrs Nour, who was at home all day last Thursday caring for her mother, said the first she knew of the police incident and her son’s death was at 1.30am last Friday when two police officers knocked on her front door.
The mother-of-six wants to know why she was not contacted by police during that 14 hour stand-off and why police forced their way in an hour after it went quiet in the property.
A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: “The incident is being reviewed and investigated by both the force on behalf of the coroner and the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Specialist family liaison officers are working closely with the family to address any questions or concerns they may have.”
An Independent Police Complaints Commission spokesman, said: “The IPCC is independently investigating actions and decisions of Norfolk Constabulary officers before the death of a 40-year-old man at a property in Quarry Road, Costessey, near Norwich on August 14 2014.
“The investigation, which is in its early stages, is considering aspects of the police decision making and what steps were taken to protect the welfare of the man.”
“Norfolk Constabulary continue to prepare a file for the coroner.”
“It was a 14 hour cry for help and not one of those people thought to say ‘where is mum or dad’? If we had spoken to him on his mobile, it would not have happened. It was a desperate cry for help and I was only an hour away.”
“They know that I have been there worried in the past and the police broke the door down to see him in 2011 because I was not able to get hold of him,” she said.
The case has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) because it resulted in the death of a person after police contact.
Mrs Nour said she was horrified when she saw a photograph of all the police cars outside her son’s home. She added that the family liaison officers at Norfolk Police had been “very caring” and a “great comfort” when she had to identify Kamal’s body on Sunday. However, she feels that they could have handled last Thursday’s stand-off differently.
A man with integrity and morals
Kamal Nour was the oldest of six children to parents Norma and Amin.
He was born near Norwich and grew up in the Diss area where he went to Diss Junior School and Diss High School.
After leaving school he worked at the Park Hotel in Diss where he worked his way up to the position of bar and restaurant manager, but left after four years. He went on to work for a pharmaceutical company in Hertfordshire where he gained a degree equivalent in animal welfare and technology.
Mrs Nour said she believed Kamal’s mental health problems began when he left his job in 2000 and struggled to get another full-time job. She added that her son was too proud to seek medical help himself.
“It seems for the last seven years at least I have been banging on a glass wall asking for help.”
“He was a very independent individual and when he was 12 he had a job in a chip shop, a newspaper round and used to cycle to Banham Zoo to cut the grass. He took on the head of the family and big brother role to the limit. He has always taken on the caring and worrying role to support the family. He was a man with principles, integrity and morals.”
Mrs Nour added that her son had contact with mental health services over last few years.
“I think he was went to appointments at Hellesdon Hospital, but he always felt humiliated. I think he was judging himself by his own self-esteem and he punished himself.”
“He made a cry for help in December and he said he felt he was in a car that was spiralling out of control. He was very caring even right up until the last few days.”
“I envisaged that scenario and I did my upmost over the last 24 months to prevent that and it fills me with horror that I was only an hour away and they did not come to get me. I have lived with this possibility for a long, long time and I have tried to prevent it,” she said.
“It was his birthday on Saturday August 9 and we went round there with a nice meal and kept knocking on the door. I bought some lottery tickets and put them in his card and one of them won £25 and on his last text on Tuesday he said ‘you deserve that ticket mum’.”