Police cell death inquest opened

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An inquest has been opened and adjourned after a Belper man died suddenly in police custody.

Paul Richard Jones, 37, of no fixed abode, was found dead in cells at Chesterfield Police Station at 7.10pm on June 20.

Giving evidence at Derbyshire Coroner’s Court on Tuesday, Detective Superintendent Rachel Walker said Mr Jones was arrested by police on suspicion of burglary at 3.30pm on the day of his death.

DS Walker said: “Mr Jones was taken to Chesterfield Police Station.

“Due to his state, and due to the fact he told officers he had taken some drugs, he was placed in a cell with CCTV and placed on 30 minute 
observations.”

The court heard that officers were not told specifically what drugs Mr Jones had taken.

DS Walker said officers checked Mr Jones at 6.30pm.

She said: “The next check was done just after 7pm and [Mr Jones] was found unconscious and unresponsive, lying face down in the cell.”

Officers performed CPR on Mr Jones, and the defibrillator in custody was used.

Other officers called for an ambulance, and paramedics arrived a short while later.

Further resuscitation attempts were made in the ambulance as Mr Jones was taken to Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

Mr Jones was pronounced dead at 8.05pm. His father, Patrick Jones, identified his body on June 27.

Mr Jones’ death was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for investigation, which is standard procedure for all custody deaths. The inquest was opened, and adjourned to a later date.