Drug addict found dead in police cells ‘checked regularly’, court told

Ecclesfield Police Station 2. Ecclesfield Police Station
Ecclesfield Police Station 2. Ecclesfield Police Station
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A man found dead in his police cell the day he was due to appear in court was an alcoholic drug addict who told police he had served in the Falklands war, an inquest into his death has heard.

Neil Budziszewski, aged 42, was arrested by police on May 2, 2013, after he was allegedly seen taking lager from a convenience store on Barnsley Road without paying.

He was detained at Ecclesfield Police Station, but was found dead in his cell the next morning when he was due to be taken to Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.

The inquest at the Medico Legal Centre heard Mr Budziszewski, who was born in Sheffield, was a heroin and cannabis user whose mother had recently died.

The custody officer in charge of the man being signed into the cells, now-retired Sergeant Nigel Govier, told the court he had been checked every 30 minutes and found to be alive.

The court heard Mr Budziszewski told police he was suffering post-traumatic stress disorder from serving in the Falklands War, despite having been too young to have been involved.

PC Darren McKenna, the officer responsible for transporting Mr Budziszewski, told the court: “He was obnoxious, he was drunk but he offered no kind of resistance.

“Initially on the first trip to Ecclesfield he was very subdued. He described to me how he had struggled with drug dependency.”

A post-mortem examination found Mr Budziszewski had been suffering from heart problems.

The inquest continues.