Watchdog finds police officers have ‘case to answer’ after death in custody

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The brother of a Sheffield man who died in police custody has welcomed a ruling by the police watchdog that there is a case to answer for misconduct by two sergeants.

Neil Budziszewski, aged 42, died in his cell at Ecclesfield Police Station on May 3, 2013 after officers failed to seek medical attention for him.

An inquest into his death at Sheffield Medicolegal Centre last month, found a raft of failings over his detention.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission found two sergeants had a case to answer for issues surrounding risk assessments, custody records, medical assessments and a shift change handover after concluding its investigation last March.

In July custody sergeants Paul Tolero and Nigel Govier received written warnings from the force after a misconduct meeting for failing to have Mr Budziszewski seen by a doctor when he was heard retching, despite one being present. Sgt Govier received a final written warning and Sgt Telero received a written warning.

The IPCC report was published following the conclusion of the inquest.

Neil’s brother, Steven said: “I would like to thank the IPCC for their work on this investigation so far. They have revealed a long list of failings in the way Neil was treated. The fact so many officers failed to follow basic rules on how to treat vulnerable detainees is really worrying and shows this wasn’t a case of ‘just one bad apple’.

“South Yorkshire Police need to ensure Ecclesfield police station is a place where people are kept safe.”

Chief Constable David Crompton said: “I offer my sincere condolences to Mr Budziszewski’s family and apologise unreservedly for the distress caused. The force has made changes to the risk assessment process that is carried out concerning each detainee throughout their detention.

“This is emphasised through training to maintain the safety of all people brought into custody ensuring lessons have been learnt from this tragic incident.”

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