Stay Another Day East 17
24 June 2012, 08:00
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has issued its findings from an investigation into the death of a man in custody in Peterborough.
The investigation relates to the death of Jonathan Pluck in 2009.
The IPCC investigation concluded a year ago but release of findings has awaited the outcome of an inquest.
At Peterborough Town Hall on Friday, an inquest jury returned a verdict of accidental death.
As a result of the investigation three Cambridgeshire police officers had a case to answer for misconduct in relation to their treatment of Mr Pluck while in their custody in Peterborough.
The investigation found that:
The IPCC submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service in mid-2010 which decided there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of criminal convictions.
Two police constables have attended a force misconduct meeting and an inspector has received management action from a senior Cambridgeshire police officer.
Mr Pluck, 36, died in police custody on 6 May 2009.
He was treated at Peterborough District Hospital during the early hours of 6 May 2009, in relation to drug and alcohol withdrawal.
Later the same day the hospital contacted Cambridgeshire Constabulary as he had self discharged.
At 3.50pm the same day Mr Pluck was taken into Bridge Street Police Station, Peterborough, in a distressed state by an acquaintance.
He was bleeding from his arm where he had taken out a cannula and was taken back to Peterborough District Hospital by ambulance, accompanied by a police officer.
At the hospital Mr Pluck was told by nursing staff that they would not be able to treat him unless he calmed down.
As he did not do so a police officer told him that he had to leave and walked out of the hospital with Mr Pluck.
Once outside the hospital it is alleged that Mr Pluck attempted to punch the officer, who then arrested him and restrained him on the ground until a police van arrived to transport him to police custody.
Mr Pluck was spitting so a ‘spit hood’ was placed over his head before he was transported to Thorpe Wood Police Station.
At the police station he was restrained in a cell, strip searched and then left face down on a mattress which had been placed on the cell floor.
Within minutes Mr Pluck was observed from outside the cell and was clearly unwell.
Officers entered the cell and attempts were made to resuscitate him. Paramedics were called and he was taken back to Peterborough District Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6.38pm.
On 7 May 2009, a decision was made that the IPCC would conduct an independent investigation into the circumstances leading to Mr Pluck’s death.
The IPCC made a number of recommendations to Cambridgeshire Police as a result of learning from the investigation, including the need to ensure:
The IPCC investigation examined police logs, relevant CCTV footage, witness accounts, force and national policies and procedures, and four police officers were interviewed under criminal caution.
It took evidence from medical experts and a specialist in police use of force.