Probe into calls to police prior to Redcar man's death

John Newton
Image caption Mr Newton died of head injuries

An investigation has begun into how Cleveland Police responded to phone calls expressing concern about an epileptic man prior to his death.

Father-of-two John Newton, 45, died from head injuries after allegedly being bundled into a van and assaulted in Redcar, Teesside, on 19 March.

Four people were later charged with his kidnap and murder.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) says four calls were made shortly before Mr Newton' death.

Mr Newton, who was registered disabled, was taken to James Cook Memorial Hospital, in Middlesbrough, but later died.

Criminal investigation

The IPCC has revealed Cleveland Police received four phone calls between 2000 GMT and 2050 GMT on 19 March, reporting a disturbance near Mr Newton's home in Brimham Court.

The IPCC investigation will examine how the calls were handled.

IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long said: "My sympathies go out to Mr Newton's family and friends.

"Cleveland Police are conducting a criminal investigation into Mr Newton's death and I am limited therefore in what detail I can discuss about our investigation.

"What I can say is that our focus will be on how the four calls were handled, graded and resourced to determine whether anything could or should have been done differently."

Cleveland Police said it would fully comply with the investigation.

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