Beds, Herts & Bucks

Detainee death at Yarl's Wood immigration centre 'not suspicious'

Yarl's Wood detention centre Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Yarl's Wood is the main removal centre holding women and families facing deportation

The death of a detainee at an immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire is not being treated as suspicious say police.

Pinakin Patel, who is in his 30s, was reported dead at the Yarl's Wood centre on Monday.

Bedfordshire Police said officers were called to the centre at 10:30 BST.

Sally Chidzoy, BBC Look East Home Affairs Correspondent, said a source at the centre told her the Mr Patel died after drinking an energy drink.

'Laughing and joking'

She said: "My source says the man who died had been arrested with his wife and child over an alleged breach of visa regulations at an airport. They are believed to have travelled from the Indian subcontinent.

"I have been told he was staying at the Hummingbird wing. In the morning he was having breakfast with his wife, and was laughing and joking.

"He was given an energy drink and shortly after collapsed and died, I am told."

A spokeswoman for the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, which has started an inquiry, said: "We are very sorry to be informed of the death of Mr Patel at Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre and extend our sympathies to his family and friends.

"We will involve his family in our investigation if they wish, and try to answer any questions they may have.

"Our independent investigation will aim to identify the full circumstances of Mr Patel's death and whether there were any failings in his care."

Bedfordshire Police said: "A file will be prepared in due course and handed to the coroner."

A Home Office spokesman said he could not comment on claims Mr Patel died after drinking an energy drink.

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