Inquest jury returns critical verdict in respect of death in custody of South Yorkshire Police

Monday 16 February 2015

Mr Budziszewski was an alcoholic who was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting. He was found in his police cell the next morning unconscious and not breathing and was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

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An inquest jury unanimously concluded that following his arrest, Mr Budziszewski had been exhibiting symptoms consistent with acute alcohol withdrawal, and that a doctor or nurse should have been called to see him. The jury unanimously concluded that it was a possibility that acute alcohol withdrawal contributed to his death, the primary cause of which was ischaemic heart disease.

Prior to the conclusion of the two-week inquest, South Yorkshire Police accepted their officers and employees had made 16 failures in their handling of Mr Budziszewski, including failures to complete risk assessments, to review custody records and to handover adequately to incoming staff. The Senior Coroner, Mr Dorries, has decided to make a Prevention of Future Deaths Report, which he will write in due course.

Richard Reynolds represented Mr Budziszewski's brother. Richard was instructed by Gus Silverman of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors.

Richard Reynolds is a member of Garden Court Chambers’ Inquests and Claims against the police and public authorities teams.

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