Kent

Carl Maynard's family 'shocked' over police station drugs death

Carl Maynard Image copyright Family handout
Image caption The police's failure to take Mr Maynard to hospital was a "missed opportunity" to save him, his inquest concluded

The family of a man who died in police custody from high levels of cocaine say they feel "shocked" officers were not using body cameras as he was arrested.

Carl Maynard, 29, collapsed at a police station in Tonbridge, Kent, while being questioned on 13 October 2017.

He died of acute cocaine toxicity after swallowing a drugs package just before being detained.

The police's failure to take Mr Maynard to hospital was a "missed opportunity" to save him, his inquest concluded.

Officers were "plainly suspicious" Mr Maynard had swallowed something when they entered his home in Lincoln Road in Maidstone, the inquest jury concluded.

"[They] told Carl that they would have taken him to hospital if he had, but then accepted his account that he had not swallowed anything."

A plastic bag found in Mr Maynard's stomach "appeared to have ruptured and caused him to ingest a fatal level of cocaine," his inquest found.

'Thoroughly let down'

"We will never understand why the officers didn't take him to hospital," Mr Maynard's mother Denise Kelly-Mills said.

"We have also been shocked that none of the officers used their body worn video cameras.

"This failure has denied our family the opportunity to really know what happened in that room."

She said the family felt "let down" by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which had concluded there was no case to answer by the two officers involved.

An IOPC spokesman said officers had taken "steps to try and find out if Mr Maynard has swallowed illegal substances".

"Although they could have informed the custody sergeant more swiftly of the possibility drugs had been ingested, that this did not constitute a breach of standards of behaviour."

He said the IOPC advised Kent Police two officers "be reminded about correct use of body-worn cameras".

Supt John Phillips, of Kent Police's professional standards department, said: Mr Maynard had told the arresting officers he had not swallowed anything.

"As a result, the officers took Mr Maynard into custody at Tonbridge police station rather than straight to hospital," he said.

"It is also important to note that the jury added that the possibility of any medical treatment being successful was highly unlikely."

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