IPCC: Derbyshire Police delayed treatment for dying man


Police missed several chances to get medical care for a Derbyshire man who later died, an investigation has found.

Sean Hardy, 30, from Pinxton, called an ambulance after feeling unwell in December 2006 but was instead arrested.

Mr Hardy was having an epileptic fit, but two Pcs thought he was drunk and hospital treatment was delayed.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said officers should have acted sooner, but it was impossible to tell if Mr Hardy would have lived.

The two arresting Pcs have received a written warning and two other officers have received advice, Derbyshire Police said.

Police had been called as back-up by the ambulance crew who examined him.

Mr Hardy was arrested after officers found he was wanted for an outstanding offence.

He was taken to Ripley police station where two custody sergeants demanded he be taken to hospital.

By this time Mr Hardy could no longer stand.

The two Pcs then drove to nearby Alfreton police station with Mr Hardy so he could be driven by other officers to hospital.

But by the time they arrived he had stopped breathing and died a few hours later in hospital.

Expert opinion

Amerdeep Somal, from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), said: "From the point when his care was the sole responsibility of the police, there were a number of opportunities to realise that Sean needed urgent medical care. Sadly these were not taken.

"A number of officers recognised Sean's need for medical treatment. Those directly responsible for him though believed he was acting and, despite the direction of senior officers, did not take him to hospital immediately."

She added: "Our investigation sought expert opinion which concluded that even if he had arrived at hospital sooner it is not certain he would have lived."

The findings of the IPCC investigation have been released because an inquest into Mr Hardy's death, which found he had died of natural causes, has concluded.

Deputy Chief Constable Alan Goodwin said they had co-operated fully with the IPCC.

He added: "The coroner has raised the issue about a training need for officers in terms of dealing with individuals who may be slipping in and out of consciousness.

"We acknowledge the coroner's advice and we will examine our current processes in light of this to make sure they are as robust as they can be."

More on this story

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.