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Star 'stabbed himself after arrest'

Reggae star Smiley Culture plunged a kitchen knife into his own chest after being arrested at his home, according to the account of a police officer, an inquest jury has been told.

The singer, whose real name was David Emmanuel, was said by a police officer named only as Witness 2, to have "changed completely" after a relaxed chat and mugs of tea in his kitchen during a police search of his home, Surrey Coroner Richard Travers told an inquest jury.

"You will hear from Witness 2 that, when they were coming to the end of the search... Mr Emmanuel very suddenly and without warning stood up and Witness 2 realised for the first time that he, Mr Emmanuel, had a large kitchen knife in his hand.

"The officer says that he shouted out 'knife' so as to warn his colleagues, at which point, Mr Emmanuel, he says, held out his arm and screamed at Witness 2 'Do you want some of this?' Or 'What about this?'

"Witness 2 will tell you that Mr Emmanuel's face and body language had completely changed, he became angry and was screaming.

"He will tell you that he, Mr Emmanuel, then held the knife with both hands and plunged it into his own chest."

Mr Travers, who was opening the inquest in Woking before a jury, said that four Metropolitan Police officers went to Mr Emmanuel's home, in Warlingham, Surrey, at 7am on March 15 2011 to arrest the singer and to search the premises.

The police inquiries concerned allegations of conspiring to import class A drugs into the UK, he said.

He said that, at the time of his death, Mr Emmanuel was already awaiting trial at Croydon Crown Court along with two co-defendants over allegations of "being concerned" in the supply of a Class A drug, to which he had pleaded not guilty.

The 48-year-old star, who found fame with a string of 1980s hits including Cockney Translation and appeared on Top of the Pops, was found to have died from a single stab wound to the heart.

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