Man pepper sprayed by Sussex Police drowns in Hastings lake

Lake at Coghurst Hall Holiday Park Image copyright Oast House Archive
Image caption The body of Leon Stent was recovered from the lake at Coghurst Hall Holiday Park in Hastings

A man pepper sprayed during a confrontation with Sussex Police has drowned after running into a lake.

Leon Stent, 30, from Hastings, is understood to have been visiting friends at Coghurst Hall Holiday Park, in Ivyhouse Lane, Hastings.

Officers were called to the campsite at 23:20 BST on Saturday after reports that a man was being drunk and abusive.

A search for Mr Stent resulted in a confrontation and he ended up in the lake at the site, police said.

Boat search

A force spokesman confirmed police had sprayed Mr Stent before he ran off.

Ch Insp Warren Franklin said: "Officers and friends of the man encouraged him to come out of the water, but before he could do so he got into difficulties.

"Officers used boats to get onto the lake but could not find any trace of him."

Mr Stent's body was found by divers from Sussex Police's Specialist Search Unit at 15:00 BST the following day following "a large-scale search" of the lake.

Sussex Police said a post-mortem examination would be held in due course and the matter had been passed to the East Sussex coroner.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has also been informed "due to police contact with the man before his death".

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Media captionPolice were called after reports that a man was being drunk and abusive at Coghurst Hall in Hastings

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