It’s almost three years to the day that I received a phone call in Egypt to learn about my brother’s untimely death.
Whilst being detained at her majesty’s pleasure in London’s high-security Wandsworth prison – for the ludicrous charge of stealing a gingerbread man during the London riots of 2011 – he suffered a heart attack and passed away in his filthy cell.
When dad told me he had died, my immediate reaction was how? Visions of him getting beaten to death flashed before my eyes. I was relieved it was natural causes, which always sounds like such a nice way to go.
The inquest wasn’t so pleasant. A catalogue of errors, from those who were meant to protect him, combined to reduce his chances of survival to nil. The two emergency vehicles cancelled from attending to him certainly didn’t help either.
Thankfully a critical verdict produced a Rule 43 legal order, insisting better liaison between prisons and emergency services around the country. I truly hope that this move may have saved just one more life.
For the more fortunate ones, our journey continues without you brother. You live on in our memories and you are missed dearly.
I treated the gang here to a round of Jager bombs in your honour last night and also graffiti’d your name on the blackboard. James Best – the legend – RIP brother..