Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Report after Man's Death

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Report after Man's Death

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID HUNTLEY david.huntley@reachplc.com @davey_huntley

A "distressed" man who asked to be arrested was found dead the day after a police officer ushered him to a mental health hospital.

The tragic incident happened after a Cleveland Police officer was approached by the man.

The officer was concerned about him and took him straight to a mental health hospital for an assessment.

The officer stayed with the man for half an hour and then left the hospital at around midday.

But the distressed man soon left the hospital, and a member of the public found his body in the early hours of the next morning.

An investigation was subsequently carried out by the Independent Office for Police Conduct. An IOPC report said: "At 12.06pm a member of the hospital staff called Cleveland Police to advise the man had left the hospital before being assessed. "Control room personnel passed this information to the officer at 12.11pm and the log was closed. No further investigation took place to locate the man."

After being found, the man was pronounced dead at 10.34am on August 16, 2017.

"During the investigation, our investigators interviewed one police officer and three contractors working in the control room for alleged misconduct, and took witness statements from hospital staff ", the report added.

"They also obtained audio recordings of calls regarding the man, and documentary evidence from hospital and police systems.

"At the end of the investigation, based on the evidence available, we were of the view that the police officer had acted appropriately in their dealings with the man.

"The officer believed that they were simply being notified by the control room that the man had left hospital because of their earlier contact with them, and that any further action should have been directed by the control room. …

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