Girlfriend of man who died in police custody disowns protests after gangs of masked youths 'threaten to burn residents' houses down if they put out fires'



The girlfriend of a father-of-one who died in police custody boycotted a protest because she feared violence from rioters who would later threaten to burn down houses, MailOnline can reveal today.

Edir 'Edson' Frederico Da Costa's family insist he was 'brutally beaten' and left with a broken neck after he was stopped by the Met in Newham, east London on June 15 - he died in hospital six days later.

Scotland Yard believes the 25-year-old fell ill because he had 'swallowed a large quantity of drugs' and a post-mortem found 'no injuries to suggest severe force was used', according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Edson's partner of six years Jucelma Da Silva warned supporters not to join yesterday's march from Forest Gate to Stratford because it would be hijacked by agitators who injured 14 police after pelting them with bricks and bottles.

Organisers had used an image of Edson and his son for a poster and Miss Da Silva said: 'I don't think its fair for so many people to plaster my son's face and start a movement which will then lead to a riot'.

Today east London residents told MailOnline that rioters set fire to 21 bins in one street and told them their houses would be next if they put them out.

The gang of thugs, described mainly as 'young adolescents', splintered away from a protest outside Forest Gate Police Station and started lighting fires in neighbouring streets.

Father-of-three Fayzur Rahman, 50, said: 'It was terrifying, they were everywhere outside. They had lit loads of bins on fire and were threatening residents who wanted to put the fires out. They were saying we will burn your house down if you put it out.'Shocked residents of Windsor Road told how they spent most of the night awake 'guarding their property'.

He added 'There was no police down here, we were just left, people stayed up guarding their homes. The police should never of let them come down here.'

Friend Mohammed Rashid, 55, added: 'It's really shocking, everyone is pretty scared today. We got no sleep at all.'

Rae Vegum, 30, told how her young son was too scared to sleep.

She said: ''We heard chanting all day and then they started coming up here and getting bottles out of people's bins to throw at police.

'When they had finished doing that they started dragging the wheelie bins in the road and I saw them emptying petrol cans on them.

''They were sat in my garden, I was too scared to go out. I could see them shouting at other people telling them to get back inside, telling them that it had nothing to do with them.

'My five year old son couldn't sleep at all, he kept having nightmares about fires.''

She added: 'They had total control of the street, police weren't coming round here.

Councillor Ahmed Noor, who also lives in Windsor Road, said: ''We had all the family round for Eid celebrations, so this came as quite a nasty surprise.

'The fires were going for about four hours, it could of got very dangerous if a car had gone up. The youth got frustrated at the end of the protest and started burning bins. I think they just wanted to make a statement.

'They must have burnt around 21 wheelie bins. It was a truly terrifying experience.''

Text GMB To 33353 For SMS Updates MTN Only