Sports scientist left in a vegetative state by alleged police brutality

He suffered a fractured neck outside a nightclub


A 21-year-old athlete who was allegedly assaulted by police remains in a vegetative state almost two years later.

Julian Cole, who studied sport science at Bedfordshire University, suffered a fractured neck in May last year, following his arrest outside a nightclub.

Shocking CCTV footage shows Cole being dragged to a police car following the incident.

But now, police are being probed over the evening that left Cole in a horrific state after the incident at Elements nightclub in Bedford. Experts say extreme force must have been used to pull his back and cause the injury.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) are examining whether the officers committed grievously bodily harm. Two doormen at the club have also been questioned.

“Bedfordshire police tried to cover up what their officers did to Julian by alleging that Julian was conscious and ‘chatty’ in the back of the police van,” Claudius Cole added.

“Bedfordshire police tried to cover up what their officers did to Julian by alleging that Julian was conscious and ‘chatty’ in the back of the police van,” Claudius Cole added.

His brother, Claudius Cole said: “When the IPCC took over the investigation we hoped that we would learn the truth.

“20 months on we feel that the IPCC investigation has ground to a halt, the police officers are not being held to account and we are left without answers while we care for Julian – whose life has been destroyed.”

Julian’s family have claimed police initially tried to mislead them as they were told he was speaking after his arrest, but experts say this would be impossible with a severed spinal cord.

Another officer allegedly said Julian was drunk, but medical tests showed he had been under the drink-drive limit.

Julian Coles - Family Collect

Julian was going to be best man for his brother at his wedding last year. Instead his younger brother had to do the honours

The Coles now feel the case has been going on too long as the IPCC case is yet to be reported and are now looking to campaign.

Claudius said he relates to other tragedies in America. He added: “I think the police may have behaved the same here as in the US – it is the same type of behaviour, it hasn’t been as well publicised.

“Julian did not need six officers to pin him down – he is only 5ft 5in and was unarmed – excessive force used is just the same. There are questions to ask about the racial element to how they treated Julian.”

On Monday, the family took part in the “solidarity event” at the House of Commons with families from Ferguson, Missouri, where violent protests were taking place after a shooting of a black teen in America.

The IPCC have said: “Our investigators updated the Cole family just before Christmas, apologies for the length of time taken, and gave reassurances ver the latest timescales. Additional IPCC staff have now been allocated to this investigation to ensure it is completed as soon as possible.”

The family should hopefully receive a report at the end of January before the IPCC commissioner responsible for the investigation can read it in March.