IPCC witness appeal over County Durham custody death

Leonard McCourt
Image caption The IPCC wants to hear from anyone who saw Mr McCourt being arrested

A police watchdog is appealing for help after a man died in custody in County Durham.

Leonard McCourt died at Peterlee police station an hour after being arrested during a disturbance a few miles away in Seaham on Saturday.

The 44-year-old was found to be unwell at the station and was pronounced dead despite the efforts of paramedics.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) wants to hear from anyone who witnessed his arrest.

A post-mortem examination was carried out but proved inconclusive and the IPCC is awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

Mr McCourt was arrested in Ash Crescent at about 1645 BST on Saturday.

Durham Police said he was in "an agitated state" and was handcuffed before being put into a van and taken to the station - about 10 minutes' journey away.

Durham Police's professional standards department is also investigating the death.

A spokesman for the IPCC said: "We are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed Mr McCourt's arrest and the events leading up to it in Ash Crescent."

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