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30 March 2013, 14:46
A second man's died in Northumbria Police custody in a week.
Northumbria Police say the 43-year-old man was arrested on warrant, on Thursday, March 28th, from his home address in Houghton, for failing to appear at Gateshead Magistrates' Court, on Tuesday, March 26th, for possessing an offensive weapon.
During his time in custody, the man was seen by doctors who work on behalf of the force.
He was due to appear in court on Saturday, March 30th.
At 11.39pm, on Friday, March 29th, an ambulance was called to the custody suite at Washington at the request of the doctor to transport the prisoner to hospital for medical assistance.
However, the prisoner deteriorated and a further call as an emergency was made.
Upon arrival at hospital, the man was pronounced dead.
The incident has been reported to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and Northumbria Police is fully co-operating with their investigation.
It comes a week after a 34 year old man died in a police cell in South Shields after being arrested for being drunk and disorderly
It happened on Friday, March 22nd, when he was booked into custody at 8.25pm.
At 10.06pm an ambulance was called due to concerns for the man's welfare. He was subsequently pronounced dead at South Tyneside General Hospital at 11.44pm.
Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth, Sunderland Area Commander, said:
"We offer our sincere condolences to this man's family and friends at what is clearly a difficult time for them.
Any death in police custody irrespective of the circumstances must be immediately referred to the IPCC and we are working with them to fully assist with their investigation.
When a person is arrested, a full risk assessment is carried out and a suitable care plan is developed and implemented. We routinely revise these risk assessments during the time the prisoner remains in custody and amend the care plan accordingly.
Deaths in police custody are fortunately relatively ucommon and there were no custody deaths in the Northumbria Police area last year.
The police officers and police staff who work in the custody environment receive a higher standard of first aid training than regular officers. This enables them to provide an effective, immediate response in the event of a medical emergency until a doctor or paramedic is available.
The circumstances surrounding this incident is subject to an independent investigation by the IPCC and we are giving it our full co-operation."