The late Mrs.Joy Gardner died on 28.7.93, after being gagged and restrained with a body belt at her home, whilst being served with a deportation order – leaving a 7 year old son. Police officers were charged with manslaughter, and later acquitted.
She had come to visit her mother, Myrna Simpson, but overstayed her 6 month visa. One morning, an immigration officer with 5 Police officers turned up on her doorstep with a deportation notice. Answering the door in her knickers and t-shirt with her 2 year old in the house, she told them to get lost.
The police at the inquest described what happened next as a struggle with a superhuman black woman. They put handcuffs and calf straps on her, and wrapped tape around her mouth- fourteen feet of it. Mrs Gardner suffocated and died.
The inquest into Joy Gardener’s death said it was ‘misadventure’. No-one was ever charged.
The family and friends of Joy have set up the Joy Gardner Memorial Campaign to keep Joy’s memory alive, to ensure that there will be no more victims of the British immigration controls, and to demand justice for Joy.
Black Deaths is Custody
The Death of Joy Garner – Poem by Benjamin Zephaniah