A police officer who was accused of pushing a father of five before he collapsed and died told an inquest his accusers were “hellbent on blood”.
Nazim Din, 54, fell to the ground and suffered a cardiac arrest outside his home on Grasmere Court in Wortley on August 28 2013.
The incident happened after police arrested his eldest son, Nadeem Din, on suspicion of criminal damage.
But officers also handcuffed his other son, Naveed, because of uncertainty over the brothers’ identities.
Mr Din collapsed as Naveed was being put into a police van.
Giving evidence on the second day of the inquest into his death at Wakefield Coroner’s Court on Friday, PC Paul Richardson told the jury a crowd gathered in the street as Mr Din lay on the ground. He said Naveed Din, who had been released from the police van, then started to accuse him of pushing his father.
He said: “He started running around the crowd shouting, ‘It was him, it was him – that one with the grey hair pushed my dad.”
Describing the atmosphere as “extremely hostile and tense”, the officer added: “I once policed the Leeds-Millwall game, where you had bottles thrown at you from the moment you got out of the van to the moment you got back in the van. This was worse by far.”
Visibly emotional as he recounted the experience, PC Richardson said he was ushered into a police car and led away.
He added: “The crowd was hellbent on blood. They wanted blood and it was my blood they wanted I suspect.”
Sam Jacobs, the lawyer representing the family, put it to PC Richardson that he had been “heavy handed” over the arrest of Nadeem Din and said he had taken a “bull in a china shop” approach.
But the officer, who said Mr Din was about two to three metres from him when he collapsed, denied the claim and added: “Looking back, with the exception of the father’s death, I wouldn’t have done anything differently.”
The inquest continues.