Hereford & Worcester

Inquiry after Worcester man in police custody dies

The police watchdog has decided to independently investigate the death of a Worcester man who was taken to hospital from police custody.

It would seem a doctor who examined Colin Ranford was satisfied he was fit to remain in custody, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said.

But it added officers later became concerned at his condition.

Mr Ranford, 51, was arrested by West Mercia Police on 11 April in Worcester and died on 13 April.

Doctor asked

The force said it had informed the IPCC regarding the incident "as is a matter of course in such cases".

The IPCC said Mr Ranford had been arrested for being drunk and disorderly on 11 April after police found him in Southall Avenue.

The force was called by a member of the public at about 2110 BST to a report a man lying in the street in Ombersley Road.

Officers arrived at about 2140 BST and it appeared they thought Mr Ranford should go to hospital as he had a head wound, the IPCC said.

From initial accounts he was verbally aggressive to ambulance staff and police officers and was arrested and taken into custody at Worcester police station.

It added the initial investigation of custody records showed Mr Ranford was put under regular observations and a doctor was asked to check him and assess his fitness for custody.

Time in custody

The doctor examined Mr Ranford just after midnight in the early hours of 12 April and just after 0130 BST officers became concerned at his condition and an ambulance was called, the IPCC said.

Mr Ranford was taken to University Hospital in Coventry, where he died on 13 April.

The IPCC said its investigators would specifically look at Mr Ranford's time in custody "and whether there was any more that could have been reasonably done".

A post-mortem examination was carried out on Friday and a coroner's inquest into Mr Ranford's death was opened and adjourned on Monday.

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