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Staffordshire Police officers warned over Darren Lyons' death in police cell

Two Staffordshire Police officers have been given written warnings after a man died shortly after being arrested.

Staffordshire Police

The force's disciplinary actions come after an investigation into the death of Darren Lyons raised concerns that some custody processes and policies were not correctly followed.

Following the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation, Staffordshire Police concluded that two custody sergeants had a case to answer for misconduct - one of them for failing to properly assess and manage the health risk to Mr Lyons during detention and the other for failing to conduct an appropriate risk assessment after accepting a handover without making his own checks.

The force gave them management advice and a written warning respectively after finding the misconduct cases against them proven.

The IPCC's investigator also suggested that there was a case to answer for misconduct against a custody detention officer (CDO) over the conduct of cell checks and accuracy of record-keeping.

Mr Lyons, aged 43, was arrested by armed officers at home in Kidsgrove on January 12 2014 after allegedly making threats to shoot or stab visitors to the property.

Later that day he was found unresponsive in his cell at the Northern Area Custody Facility, Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent, and taken to hospital.

He was placed on life support but pronounced dead three days later.

An inquest recorded that he had died from a combination of medical conditions, including heart disease.

Emma Barnett, assistant chief constable at Staffordshire Police, said: "I would like to personally offer my sympathies to Mr Lyons' family.

"His medical needs were complex and after several weeks of evidence, it is by no means clear from the expert medical evidence whether his tragic death could have been avoided.

"We acknowledge that there were some procedural shortcomings in how Mr Lyons was dealt with in custody.

"A considerable amount of work has been undertaken since January 2014 by the force and those that work with us so that we are better equipped to understand and deal with complex needs.

"In addition, many improvements have been made to the broader custody process. We continue to work with Independent Custody Visitors and other agencies to make sure that we provide the best possible care to detainees within Staffordshire Police custody."

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