Beds, Herts & Bucks

Custody drugs death man Istiak Yusuf searched for 22 seconds

Istiak Yusuf Image copyright Family picture
Image caption Istiak Yusuf died in a police cell in Luton in June

A man who died at Luton police station after taking drugs in his cell was searched for 22 seconds, an inquest has heard.

Istiak Yusuf, 25, died in June 2015 after being arrested for an alleged assault against his wife.

Ampthill Coroners Court was shown footage of him being checked in and searched before being taken to a cell.

The jury earlier heard Mr Yusuf, who lived in Luton, managed to take cocaine and MDMA after being searched.

The footage shows Mr Yusuf being asked questions such as "have you got anything on you?"

He is then given a "pat-down" search by PC Steve Hunt, who agreed that this process took 22 seconds and was "limited to outer clothing only".

Mr Yusuf who was "compliant throughout" and he had "absolutely no concern whatsoever" that the detained man was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

'Stale alcohol'

He said a strip search would have needed to be authorised by the custody sergeant who was not consulted.

Mr Yusuf was taken to his cell at 09:40 BST and was checked every 30 minutes.

Custody sergeant Matthew Carroll said he put him on 30-minute checks because he could "smell stale alcohol on his breath" but he "didn't display any signs of taking drugs at all".

Therefore, he was not subjected to "rousing checks" where detainees are woken every 30 minutes by officers entering their cell.

"I didn't have any concerns… We always err on the side of caution," he said.

During a check just before midday an officer raised the alarm but Mr Yusuf died in his cell.

A post-mortem examination found he died from cocaine, MDMA and alcohol toxicity.

Five police officers and three detention officers were subsequently served with misconduct notices.

Mr Yusuf had a history of drug taking and was serving a suspended sentence for drink driving.

The hearing continues.

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