Mystery death: Sheffield man said police beat him

Under investigation: John Jeffrey, 50, was found dead on Lindsay Avenue, Parson Cross.
Under investigation: John Jeffrey, 50, was found dead on Lindsay Avenue, Parson Cross.
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A MAN who died in mysterious circumstances claimed to have been assaulted by a South Yorkshire Police officer days before his death, The Star can reveal.

John Jeffrey, aged 50, was found dead at a property on Lindsay Avenue, Parson Cross, at 4am on Sunday, July 15.

Police launched an investigation but later ruled out foul play.

A post-mortem examination has taken place, but the cause of Mr Jeffrey’s death is yet to be established and further tests are being carried out.

Today it emerged that on July 13 - two days before Mr Jeffrey was found dead - the Sheffield Homes tenant visited a housing office in the city centre where he told a worker he had been assaulted by a police officer.

Case notes, seen by The Star, state that police had been called to the home he shared with his wife Hayley in Parson Cross.

Mr Jeffrey claimed officers took him to a friend’s house on London Road - and, while he was in the back of the car, a police officer ‘hit him about the head’.

He then alleged he was taken to a police station and released at 5am.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said today they were aware of the allegation and said the force’s professional standards department is investigating.

But the spokesman added the force has not referred Mr Jeffrey’s death to the Independent Police Complaints Commission - the body which investigates deaths in police custody.

He said: “The death of Mr Jeffrey has not been referred to the IPCC.

“The force’s professional standards department is investigating an alleged assault on Mr Jeffrey by a South Yorkshire Police officer.

“This relates to an incident on June 28. Enquiries continue into this allegation. It is not believed the incident on June 28 is linked to Mr Jeffrey’s death.”

A Sheffield Homes spokesman said: “We will always seek to co-operate with police enquiries as fully as possible and will draw the attention of the police to relevant information.

“But we cannot comment on individual cases when there are ongoing inquiries and where we may still be under a duty of confidentiality.”