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Family pleased with son's police custody death inquest conclusion

By William Janes

The family of a man who died in police custody after swallowing a bag of cocaine say they are "pleased" with the result of his inquest.

Carl Maynard, 29, died at Tonbridge Police Station on Friday, October 13 2017 after being arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend at their home in Lincoln Road, Shepway, near Maidstone.

After being initially suspicious that the painter/decorator had swallowed something, arresting officers accepted his excuse that he was putting his fingers in his throat to relieve pain from swelling caused by a cold.

Carl Maynard died at Tonbridge Police Station while having his fingerprints taken
Carl Maynard died at Tonbridge Police Station while having his fingerprints taken

He later collapsed and died while having his finger prints taken.

The death sparked an independent investigation into the police action on the day.

A four day inquest has now concluded with a jury saying that police missed an opportunity to increase his chances of Mr Maynard's survival by not taking him to hospital and that they entered his home without a lawful reason.

Mr Maynard's mother Denise Kelly-Mills said: "Ever since Carl died, we have been deeply concerned at the officers’ accounts and their apparent disregard for their duties and obligations.

"We are pleased that on hearing the evidence the jury returned a conclusion which is consistent with the complaints that we have raised from the outset.

"The jury’s conclusion supports our belief that Carl’s home was unlawfully entered by the police as a result of which he made a rash decision which cost him his life.

"We will never understand why the officers didn’t take him to hospital.

"That decision meant that Carl was denied the opportunity to seek medical help and he died on a police station floor."

Tonbridge Police Station
Tonbridge Police Station

During the hearing, the family's legal team grilled officers over not turning on body-worn video cameras to record the incident.

"We have also been shocked that none of the officers used their body worn video cameras despite the policy making clear that there was a strong presumption that they should do so" said Mrs Kelly-Mills.

"This failure has denied our family the opportunity to really know what happened in that room.

"Finally, we also feel thoroughly let down by the IOPC who concluded that there was insufficient evidence to find that any of the officers had a case to answer for misconduct.

"We hope in light of the jury conclusion that they review their decision."

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