Stoke & Staffordshire

IPCC investigates police cell death in Stoke-on-Trent

The death of a man in a police cell in Stoke-on-Trent is being investigated by the police watchdog.

Nicholas Rowley, 34, from Cobridge, died on Sunday evening at a custody facility in the Etruria area.

He had been arrested on Saturday after failing to appear at the city's magistrates' court on theft charges.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said post-mortem tests were inconclusive and further toxicology tests were taking place.

'Heavily intoxicated'

Mr Rowley was found asleep in a stairwell of the John Street multi-storey car park in Hanley on Saturday.

He was arrested after checks revealed there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest in connection with failing to appear at Stoke-on-Trent Magistrates' Court last month.

He was taken to the Northern Area Custody Facility in Etruria and was described as being "heavily intoxicated" on arrival. He was examined by a medical professional and given medication.

At about 20:45 BST on Sunday, Mr Rowley was found not to be breathing in his cell. An ambulance was called, and paramedics treated him in his cell, but he was pronounced dead about an hour later.

IPCC investigators will be gathering evidence and reviewing CCTV footage from the custody suite.

IPCC Commissioner Amerdeep Somal said: "In the circumstances of a man's death in police custody it is right that we undertake an independent investigation into what happened."

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