Essex

Watchdog probes contacts with man who 'set himself on fire'

Benfleet fire
Image caption Emergency services were called to the house in Benfleet on Tuesday 13 March

An independent watchdog is to investigate Essex Police's contact with a man who died after setting himself and a woman on fire at a house.

Kieren Lynch, 50, from Canvey Island, and the woman, in her 70s, were treated in hospital after the incident at Boyce Green in Benfleet on 13 March.

The man died and the woman remains in a critical but stable condition.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is examining contacts with Mr Lynch before his death.

An IOPC spokesperson said: "We have begun an investigation in to Essex Police following the death of man on 13 March.

"This was a mandatory referral from Essex Police due to their prior contact with the deceased."

Arrested

The investigation is in its early stages and the terms of reference have yet to be set, the spokesman said.

Mr Lynch was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder before he died.

An inquest into his death opened in Chelmsford on Monday and was adjourned until a later date, yet to be fixed.

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