OFFICERS did not use excessive force against an Oxford law student who died in police custody, an inquest has heard.

A jury unanimously agreed police applied 'reasonable, necessary and proportionate force' when arresting Nuno Cardoso hours before he died on November 24, 2017.

The Ruskin College student went into cardiac arrest while being transported to Abingdon Police Station at around 5.20am and the police van pulled over at Redbridge park and ride, but he died at the John Radcliffe Hospital that evening.

Oxford Mail:

His cause of death was given as cardio-respiratory arrest due to combined drug intoxication - involving alcohol, cocaine and morphine.

An inquest into the 25-year-old's death concluded at Oxford Coroner's Court yesterday, with Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter giving a narrative verdict.

Read also: Court hears student punched girl in face and threatened to stab family

Police were first called to Ruskin at 2.15am on November 24 following an alleged assault, with the suspect believed to be in possession of a knife, the court heard.

They returned at about 4.50am and encountered Mr Cardoso in the kitchen, when he was 'conscious, coherent, walking and talking'.

Body worn footage played earlier in the inquest showed one officer hitting the student twice with a baton, in an attempt to get him to release his arms so they could handcuff him, with another striking his thigh.

The student remained 'conscious and coherent' when he was sat up and handcuffed and his speech was 'audible'.

Read also: Police thought student was 'just being difficult'

He became less co-operative when asked to open his mouth, but the jury accepted officers' evidence that they did not believe he had swallowed drugs or 'packed' them in his cheek.

Witnesses said Mr Cardoso did not appear unwell when he first sat in the back of the police van, which was supported by body worn footage.

But on the way to Abingdon, the situation 'rapidly changed' to a medical emergency, causing the van to stop at Redbridge.

The jury accepted the medical care provided to Mr Cardoso at the park and ride was provided in a 'professional and timely manner', first by police officers and then paramedics.