Cops not to blame

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE -

A mas­sive co­caine over­dose killed a man who be­came ill in cus­tody at Mother­well po­lice sta­tion.

Now a sher­iff has cleared po­lice of­fi­cers of any blame af­ter a fa­tal ac­ci­dent in­quiry.

A pathol­o­gist told the in­quiry the amount of co­caine taken by Steven Ch­es­ney was the high­est she’d ever seen.

Sher­iff Dou­glas Brown recorded that Mr Ch­es­ney died of co­caine in­tox­i­ca­tion and re­jected a sug­ges­tion by the dead man’s fam­ily that of­fi­cers were neg­li­gent in not get­ting him to hos­pi­tal sooner.

Sher­iff Brown stated: “It ap­peared fairly ob­vi­ous from the ev­i­dence that, given the ex­cep­tion­ally high dose of co­caine and the dif­fi­culty in treat­ing co­caine in­tox­i­ca­tion, there was no re­al­is­tic pos­si­bil­ity of sur­vival.”

Dad of one Mr Ch­es­ney, 33, be­came ill af­ter of­fi­cers de­tained him for bran­dish­ing a ma­chete near his home in Biggar Road, Cle­land.

Con­sul­tant foren­sic pathol­o­gist Dr Ju­lia Bell told the in­quiry: “In 10 years of do­ing drug- re­lated post­mortem ex­am­i­na­tions this was the high­est level of co­caine I’ve seen. It was ex­cep­tion­ally high.”

P ro f e s s o r Micha e l Ed­dle­ston, a renowned ex­pert on clin­i­cal tox­i­col­ogy, said it was un­likely that Mr Ch­es­ney would have been saved had he been taken to hos­pi­tal sooner.

The in­quiry heard he was ar­rested near his home shortly be­fore 6am on May 1, 2016, and taken to Mother­well po­lice sta­tion.

Po­lice said he was fine un­til they ar­rived at the sta­tion. Pro­fes­sor Ed­dle­ston said that, from view­ing CCTV, it was clear the pris­oner “did not look well”.

Asked by procu­ra­tor fis­cal Eileen Beadsworth if Mr Ch­es­ney could have been saved had he been taken di­rectly to hos­pi­tal, he replied: “It’s very un­likely. I’ve never seen such a con­cen­tra­tion of co­caine in a liv­ing pa­tient.”

The in­quiry was told that Mr Ch­es­ney had begged for med­i­cal help as of­fi­cers brought him to the sta­tion.

A sound ex­pert claimed to hear him mum­bling on CCTV that he was ill.

The in­quiry heard that the cus­tody sergeant then de­cided Mr Ch­es­ney was in such a state he should be taken to hos­pi­tal.

He died there at 7.12am.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.