Belfast Telegraph

PSNI in clear over man hurt in custody at Enniskillen police station

By Staff Reporter

An investigation by the PSNI watchdog launched after a man cut his wrist in a police cell has not recommended disciplinary action against any officer.

The man had been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, disorderly behaviour and assaulting and resisting police in Lisnaskea in October 2011. He was taken to Enniskillen police station and placed in custody.

When being released to attend court the next day, an officer noticed that the man had a fresh injury to his wrist. He told the officer he had cut himself with a lighter he had found in a cell. Officers went to the cell and found broken pieces of a lighter on a bench.

The incident was referred to the Police Ombudsman amid concerns that officers may have failed in their duty to ensure a proper duty of care to the prisoner.

Investigators visited the cell where the lighter had been found and examined cleaning records for the custody suite. These showed that all cells had been "deep cleaned" on the day before the prisoner had arrived.

This involves all items, including blankets and cushions, being removed from the cell to allow it to be disinfected.

Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire noted that the lighter was unlikely to have been in either cell the man was held in given that both cells had been unoccupied between the deep clean and his arrival. He said it was possible the prisoner had concealed the item on his person, but said a more intimate search had not been appropriate in the circumstances of his arrest.

Dr Maguire concluded there was insufficient evidence of any misconduct by any police or civilian officer who dealt with the prisoner.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph