DISCLAIMER: THANKFULLY, JULIAN COLE IS ALIVE, HOWEVER DUE TO EXTENT OF HIS INJURIES, WE HAVE INCLUDED HIM IN THIS DATABASE.
Who is Julian Cole?
Julian was born on 10 July 1993 in Brent, North London, where he grew up with his mum, dad and older brother, Claude. His family were very close and were part of a wider support network of aunts, uncles and cousins. Growing up, Julian was very popular with both his friends and teachers. He had a warm, friendly, cheeky personality. Julian loved watching and playing sport, particularly football and athletics; he was also a big fan of Arsenal football club.
From the age of six, Julian regularly played for his local football club, where he became the first child, in the club, to score 100 goals in a season. After spending time playing for Watford Football Club’s Youth Team, Julian attended Bedfordshire University and was working hard in his first year, studying for a degree in Sports Science. He had ambitions of eventually becoming a PE teacher or athletics coach. Julian continued competing in Athletic competitions whilst at university and beat university records for his running. He was due to compete in a heat competition in Portugal in the weeks following the incident on 5 May 2013.
In the early hours of the morning on Sunday 6th May 2013, Julian and some of his friends who were enjoying a night-out at Elements Nightclub on Mill Street in Bedford were asked to leave. Initially they walked away but then Julian, seemingly intent on requesting a refund, returned alone to the club.
On returning to the venue, Julian was seized by security who immediately passed him over to several police officers present outside the club. Much of what took place is caught on CCTV but the crucial moments of what happened when the police officers took hold of Julian were not captured.
Witnesses saw Julian dragged unconscious across the road by officers in the direction of a police van. By this stage his neck had been broken; he had suffered a serious spinal injury and was unresponsive.
Julian was lifted into the police van and driven to Greyfriars Police Station. He remained unresponsive and an ambulance was called. Julian suffered a severe brain injury due to a lack of oxygen reaching his brain and had a cardiac arrest.
Initially Julian was transferred to Bedford Hospital but he was then transferred to a hospital in Cambridge, specialising in head injuries. Julian had suffered a spinal injury called a ‘hangman’s fracture’. This kind of injury, as the name suggests, is associated with the sudden and violent pulling backwards of the head, usually when there is a counter force against the body.
Julian is now paralysed and has brain damage. He is resident in a care home because he needs 24 hour nursing care.
What was the legal implication?
Julian Cole’s inquiry was riddled with lies and cover up by the police. Initially Julian Cole’s family was fed misleading information by officers in the hours following his hospitalisation. They said that Cole had been ‘chatty’ in the back of the police van, and that he had been drunk. CCTV footage later emerged of Cole being carried unconscious into the van, while a toxicology report found that, while he had consumed alcohol, he was under the legal drink-drive limit.
During all of this, the IPCC were also found to be collaborating with the Bedfordshire Police, consulting with them when putting together a press release. The IPCC claims to be independent.
In 2018, three police officers were sacked for lying about the incident. A disciplinary panel convened by Bedfordshire police found a breach of honesty and integrity by PCs, Hannah Ross, Nicholas Oates and Sanjeev Kalyan over their descriptions of the incident involving Julian Cole. They were found to have lied both in their pocket notebooks and in their statement in relation to Coles condition during his arrest. They were also found to have committed misconduct after failing to conduct adequate welfare checks on him.
Police officers have been found guilty of misconduct but no one is charged or held accountable for inflicting life changing injuries on Julian Cole. His family are still fighting for justice.
If you want to find out more about other victims of police and state violence in the UK, click here.
The proportion of BAME deaths in custody where restraint is a feature is over two times greater than it is in other deaths in custody. The proportion of BAME deaths in custody where use of force is a feature is over two times greater than it is in other deaths in custody. The proportion of BAME deaths in custody where mental health-related issues are a feature is nearly two times greater than it is in other deaths in custody.