Beds, Herts & Bucks

Istiak Yusuf cell drugs death: Police errors 'may have contributed'

Istiak Yusuf Image copyright Family picture
Image caption Istiak Yusuf died in a police cell in Luton in June 2015

Police errors may have contributed to the drug-induced seizure which killed a man in a police cell, an inquest jury has concluded.

Istiak Yusuf, 25, died at Luton police station in June 2015 after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife.

The inquest at Ampthill Coroner's Court heard he managed to take cocaine and ecstasy after being searched by police.

Eight officers were served with misconduct notices.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) published its findings after the inquest jury delivered its verdict.

It said four cell checks on Mr Yusuf were "not adequate or sufficiently lengthy for the detention officers to satisfy themselves of Mr Yusuf's welfare".

Two police officers have since been disciplined and two detention officers found guilty of misconduct and served with 12-month written warnings.

During the inquest, the jury was was shown footage of Mr Yusuf being checked in and searched before being taken to a cell.

'Pat down'

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

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

He was 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".

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.

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

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Collins said: "It is tragic that a young man lost his life in our care and our thoughts remain with Mr Yusuf's family and friends.

"We are committed to continue to improve the standard of our service provided in custody."

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