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11 March 2014, 12:05
Northumbria Police force is being investigated after a man was killed by a train in Northumberland less than an hour after being released from custody.
24 year old Christopher Pattinson was hit by a train close to Stocksfield station just 40 minutes after he had been returned to his vehicle by police officers.
He had been detained in the early hours of February 10th and charged with driving while over the alcohol limit.
Officers from Northumbria Police took him back to his car at 10am but at 10.40am they were notified that he had been struck by a train and pronounced dead at the scene.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said that, as Mr Pattinson had spent several hours in custody prior to his death, it would be looking into the circumstances surrounding police contact with him.
IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said:
"Our investigation is in its very early stages and the IPCC lead investigator has met with Mr Pattinson's family to offer our condolences and to explain our role.
Given Mr Pattinson spent several hours in the custody of Northumbria Police on the morning that he died, I have determined that the IPCC will investigate the circumstances surrounding police contact from the point at which Mr Pattinson was stopped until he was returned to his vehicle.
In particular, we will be examining what information the force had about his state of mind, both from conversations officers had with him and information they may have already held, and what pre-release assessments were made by the force before Mr Pattinson was released from custody and driven back to his vehicle.
I will ensure our investigation is robust and provides the answers Mr Pattinson's family and friends will understandably want.''