Lincolnshire Police call error not to blame for death

Errors by Lincolnshire Police delayed them reaching a man who died of head injuries but did not contribute to his death, an independent review has found.

Neighbours called police after hearing a loud bang from Derek Byrne's Crowland home on 15 February and were concerned.

It took one hour and 44 minutes for an officer to find the 53-year-old with head injuries. He died the next day.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it was unlikely he would have lived despite the delay.

The IPCC found the initial call handler did not identify the seriousness of the call and there was a delay in deploying officers to the incident.

Officers forced entry to the house on the afternoon of 14 February and found Mr Byrne in a critical state.

'Tragic case'

He died the next day in Peterborough and District Hospital.

IPCC commissioner Amerdeep Somal said the call handler and controller have been given advice on how to grade and respond to that type of call again.

She said: "This is a tragic case and I extend my sincere condolences to Mr Byrne's family and friends.

"While the investigation found there was a delay in police attending Mr Byrne's address, his injuries were found to be so severe that it was extremely unlikely that he would have survived even if he been found and admitted to hospital earlier."

An inquest into Mr Byrne's death recorded an open verdict at Spalding Magistrates' Court in September.

A spokesperson from Lincolnshire Police said: "It is acknowledged that the response to the reported incident involving Mr Byrne fell below the standards Lincolnshire Police strive to achieve.

"This was recognised and as a result Lincolnshire Police referred the matter to the IPCC having also put measures in place to ensure there was no likelihood of a reoccurrence."

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