Sheffield & South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire policemen criticised over custody death

Two South Yorkshire Police officers have been criticised over the death of a man in police custody.

Neil Budziszewski, 42, died in a cell at Ecclesfield police station in Sheffield on 3 May 2013.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found that Sgt Nigel Govier and Sgt Paul Telero "had a case to answer for misconduct".

This involved risk assessments, custody records, medical assessments and a shift-change handover.

Workplace puppy

According to the IPCC, Mr Budziszewski, who was alcohol-dependent and had taken methadone on the day he was arrested, was found unresponsive in a cell. He died despite efforts by police officers and a paramedic to save him.

An inquest in February 2015 found that heart disease and the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal contributed to Mr Budziszewski's death.

In July 2014 South Yorkshire Police held a misconduct meeting in which Sgt Govier received a final written warning and Sgt Telero received a written warning.

Kathryn Stone, of the IPCC, said: "The care provided to Mr Budziszewski during his period of detention fell well short of what it should have been.

"South Yorkshire Police has acted on our recommendations and provided an assurance that it will learn lessons from our investigation. I hope that provides some comfort to Mr Budziszewski's family."

Sgt Telero was also called "unprofessional" by the IPCC for bringing a dog into work.

The IPCC looked into why he took a puppy into the custody suite during his shift. Investigators said they could not determine if it was a case of misconduct "as there are no local or national policies that deal with police officers or staff taking pets into work".

Chief Constable David Crompton apologised to Mr Budziszewski's family and said the force had changed its risk assessment process when dealing with detainees.

"This is emphasised to staff through training to maintain the safety and wellbeing of all people brought into police custody, ensuring lessons have been learnt from this tragic incident," he said.

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