by: This is Staffordshire
published: 25 May 2012
Changes have been made to CCTV systems in prison vans after a suspect died while being transported to a police custody centre. An inquest into the death of Tony Davies heard how the 32-year-old was found slumped in a caged cell and was unresponsive when the van arrived at Middlewich Custody Suite.
Mr Davies was picked up by police in Crewe, near the scene of a burglary in Barthomley Crescent on April 7 last year. Officers observed he was drunk and recorded that detail on a risk assessment form.
But as he was able to talk and walk they put him in a cell in the back of a van driven by a lone civilian escort officer. She drove the 20 minute journey to the Cheshire Police custody suite.
The inquest was told Mr Davies vomited during the journey but that this was not unusual for detained suspects. Post mortem tests showed Mr Davies was six times over the legal drink drive limit and his cause of death was given as acute alcohol poisoning.
Denise Vogan, the civilian officer who drove the van, said: “When I first saw him I noticed Mr Davies was staggering but I wouldn’t have said he was very drunk.