Death of man in Sheffield police cell possibly heart-related, inquest told

Ecclesfield Police Station
Ecclesfield Police Station
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A man who died in police custody less than 24 hours after being arrested was suffering from heart problems, an inquest into his death has heard.

Neil Budziszewski, aged 42, who was born in Sheffield, died unexpectedly in Ecclesfield Police Station on May 2, 2013.

He had been arrested over an alleged theft after reports he was seen taking something from a shop.

The inquest at Sheffield Medico Legal Centre heard Mr Budziszewski had initially refused to give his name and the fingerprint scanner used by police was not working so he was taken to another station before being returned to Ecclesfield.

Mr Budziszewski, of no fixed address, was due to appear at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court the next day.

But he was found dead in his cell and although paramedics were called and resuscitation carried out he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pathologist Dr Charles Alexander Wilson examined the body and found evidence of drug abuse, including track marks on Mr Budziszewski’s arms.

There were also bruises consistent with alcohol abuse and a bruise on Mr Budziszewski’s knuckle, which Dr Wilson said was likely to have come from punching or defending himself, and one on his neck.

But the jurors heard the bruises were likely to be more than 24 hours old and caused before the arrest took place, although it was not certain.

Dr Wilson said he found evidence of heart issues, including of Ischemia, a type of narrowing of the coronary arteries.

There was evidence his arteries had narrowed by 50 per cent.

Dr Wilson added: “It’s quite possible to die from coronary artery narrowing without there being any signs of a classical heart attack.”

But he said it was not certain, adding: “But I have seen people who have been shot in the head who had 90 per cent narrowing who were unaware of their heart disease.”

The inquest continues.