Sunday 18 February 2018

Police officer and former civilian detention officer to be charged after man's custody cell death

David McGowan died while in custody at Lisburn police station in May 2014

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A police officer and a former civilian detention officer will be charged with gross negligence manslaughter following the death of a man in custody.

The charges relate to the death of Mr David McGowan while in custody at Lisburn police station on May 30, 2014.

It comes after an investigation by the Police Ombudsman.

The Public Prosecution Service on Tuesday confirmed that a decision has been taken to prosecute a police officer and a former civilian detention officer in relation to the death of a man in police custody.

A PPS spokesperson said: "After a careful consideration of all the available evidence in the case, it has been decided to prosecute two men, one of whom is a police sergeant and the other was a civilian detention officer, for the offences of gross negligence manslaughter and misconduct in public office.

“Criminal proceedings have now commenced and those involved have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said the police officer has since been suspended.

He said: "Firstly I would like to acknowledge how difficult a time this has been for the McGowan family following the death of David on 30 May 2014. This is a tragedy for David’s family and we offer them our ongoing sympathy and condolences. I recognise this is another difficult day for them.

"The PPS have now made a direction in relation to this case and we will continue to cooperate with them over the coming months.

“I can confirm that one police officer has been suspended from duty in respect of these matters. A second person who was employed by our managed service provider is no longer working in the PSNI.

“As formal legal proceedings are now underway I cannot comment any further.”

Belfast Telegraph

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