Coventry & Warwickshire

Darren Cumberbatch death: Probation staff to get extra training

Darren Cumberbatch Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Darren Cumberbatch died in hospital from multi-organ failure in July 2017

Training for probation workers to spot a behavioural condition is "too little too late", said the family of a man who died after being Tasered by police.

Darren Cumberbatch, 32, had symptoms of acute behavioural disturbance (ABD) when he was restrained by police at a hostel in Nuneaton in July 2017.

The Warwickshire coroner called for ABD training for probation staff in order to de-escalate similar situations.

HM Prisons and Probation Service said it would deliver training next year.

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Media captionDarren Cumberbatch inquest: Police restraint contributed to death

Probation staff were not found to be at fault after Mr Cumberbatch's death in hospital nine days after he was restrained by police.

An inquest into his death found police force was "excessive" and "probably avoidable" and more could have been done to de-escalate the situation.

This prompted coroner Delroy Henry to call on the Probation Service to better train staff.

ABD, Mr Henry wrote, is a medical emergency, likely triggered by cocaine in Mr Cumberbatch's case, when a person "exhibits violent behaviour in a bizarre and manic way".

"They blatantly failed to recognise it was a medical emergency," Reverend Desmond Jaddoo, who has been supporting Mr Cumberbatch's family, said.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption The coroner said physical restraint can be "very dangerous" to a person suffering from ABD

The electrician was reported to be behaving "irrationally" in a toilet block when police were called in 2017.

Mr Henry found hostel staff at McIntyre House had "no awareness" of ABD. He said providing basic training could minimise the need for restraint in similar cases.

"It's too little too late for Darren," Mr Jaddoo said, and while he stopped short of welcoming the training, he said it was "a step in the right direction".

"It's a clear admission that the Probation Service failed in their duty of care to Darren."

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is investigating Mr Cumberbatch's death and said it was reviewing its findings following the conclusion of the inquest in June.

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