Ex-teacher died after being restrained outside police cell
A FORMER schoolteacher died after being restrained by police officers following a suspected mental health episode, an inquest has heard.
Meirion James, 53, became unresponsive after officers from DyfedPowys Police restrained him and used PAVA spray when he tried to attack them outside his cell.
The inquest heard Mr James was arrested for assaulting his elderly mother hours after he had been released from police detention under the mental health act following his involvement in a car crash.
The inquest at County Hall, Haverfordwest, heard Mr James had previously been a school teacher but was not working at the time of his death after being diagnosed with manic depression.
His family said he had been “stable” since the mid 1990s before a decision was made to take him off his usual lithium medication and prescribe him an alternative drug in the autumn before his death on January 31 2015.
On January 30 Mr James was involved in a collision when he drove into the back of a stationary car.
PC Mike Boyt said he arrived at the scene of the collision in Llanrhystud to find Mr James lying on the floor following a physical struggle with the occupant of the stationary car, and witnessed Mr James “making random noises”.
Mr James was arrested and placed in a cell at Haverfordwest Police Station. At 10.15am an officer entered the cell only for Mr James to shoulder charge him.
Mr Bennett said: “Other officers tried to restrain him. During the course of the restraint attempts were made for arm and leg restraints.”
But Mr James became unresponsive with officers unable to find a pulse.
He was given CPR but was pronounced dead at hospital at 11.27am.
Assistant coroner Paul Bennett told the inquest’s eight jury members they would have to consider 14 aspects which preceded Mr James’ death before reaching their conclusion.