'Staff failed' in Newport police cell death says IPCC


originally by: BBC News
25th May 2011

An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) into the death of a “vulnerable” man in a police cell has found “staff failed” to protect him. Andrew David Sheppard, 22, was found dead at Newport Central police station on 30 September 2006.

An inquest into Mr Sheppard’s death also revealed “gross failings” in the system. Gwent Police has since implemented all eight recommendations made by the IPCC.

Mr Sheppard was detained by police under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 after “behaving irrationally” on 30 September 2006. His family had been in contact with police and health professionals on several occasions, that day, to seek advice.

Mr Sheppard, from Newport, was taken to Newport Central police station and detained overnight in a video cell for assessment. At 10.45am on 1 October, officers went to Mr Sheppard’s cell so that he could be medically assessed by a police surgeon within the custody unit.

The custody officer was concerned about Mr Sheppard’s condition and called for assistance.

Mr Sheppard was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital and was subsequently pronounced dead.

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