Friday, September 07, 2012

Two British goons facing prosecution after man, 52, dies as they restrain him at his apartment

Two police officers are to be prosecuted after a 52-year-old man died in his flat while under their custody. The Kent police officers are due to appear in court after an investigation into their actions was carried out by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

PC Maurice Leigh and PC Neil Bowdery were present when Colin Holt, 52, died in his flat from positional asphyxia in Goudhurst Road in Gillingham, Kent on 30 August 2010.

That day, Mr Holt, who had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, was reported missing by staff at Medway Maritime Hospital. He was found at home by the officers at 1.30pm.

At the time, the IPCC said it appeared Mr Holt became “unwell” while officers were attempting to restrain him.

An ambulance was called but the man was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

A post mortem found that the cause of death was positional asphyxia.

IPCC investigators carried out house to house enquiries in the local area, examined officers’ accounts, checked police logs and examined CCTV.

An IPCC Family Liaison Manager kept Mr Holt’s family up to date with progress of the investigation.

Now, two years later, IPCC Commissioner Mike Franklin said: 'We welcome the decision by the CPS following its review of the evidence to authorise charges against PC Maurice Leigh and PC Neil Bowdery for misconduct in public office.

'That decision follows an independent investigation by the IPCC into the actions of Kent Police officers who were at Colin Holt’s flat when he died.

'Investigators will continue to work with the CPS to assist in the preparation for those criminal proceedings.'

Rene Barclay, principal crown advocate with the Special Crime team at the CPS, added: 'It is alleged that on 30 August 2010, whilst acting as a police officer, namely as a police constable, PC Leigh and PC Bowdery misconducted themselves in that, without lawful justification or excuse, they wilfully neglected to take reasonable and proper care of Colin Holt, a person in police detention.

'On the evidence I have reviewed, I am satisfied that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and that the public interest requires a prosecution. 'PC Leigh and PC Bowdery will now be summonsed on a criminal offence and have the right to a fair trial.'

Both officers will appear at Medway Magistrates’ Court on 8 October.

Original report here

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