Police Ombudsman investigating overnight death in police custody

The Police Ombudsman have confirmed they are investigating after a young man died in custody at Musgrave Police Station.

Monday, 9th July 2018, 3:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 6:44 pm
Police Ombudsman

In a statement, a spokesman for the Police Ombudsman confirmed they are "investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a 26-year-old man at Musgrave Police Station in Belfast in the early hours of this morning (Monday 9 July)".

The statement adds that the man died in the station’s custody suite, where he had been taken following an incident at a bar in the Antrim Road area of the city. That incident is currently being investigated by the police.

The spokesman for the Police Ombudsman’s Office added: “Police notified us of the man’s death and we commenced an immediate investigation into the circumstances.

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“Our investigators have been at Musgrave police station throughout the night, and are continuing to gather information about the course of events leading up to the death.

"We will be speaking to all potential witnesses, gathering forensic evidence, reviewing CCTV footage and securing all relevant PSNI documentation.

“A post mortem examination will be conducted in due course. The man’s name has not yet been released.”

A PSNI spokesman also confirmed that a 26-year-old man "has died following medical treatment while in custody at Musgrave Police Station in the early hours of Monday 9 July".

The spokesman said: "As is normal procedure, the office of the Police Ombudsman has been informed of the matter and has begun an investigation.

"A post mortem examination will be carried out in due course to determine the cause of death."The man was arrested on Sunday evening, at around 9.30pm, following reports of a disturbance at licensed premises on the Antrim Road in north Belfast.

"A police investigation into the circumstances surrounding the disturbance is underway and Detective Inspector Stephen Harvey would ask anyone with any information which could assist detectives with their enquiries to contact them at Musgrave Police Station on 101 quoting reference number 1561 of 8/7/18.

"Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

"As PONI are investigating, it would be inappropriate to comment any further."

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly has expressed concern at the incident, which happened earlier today.

The party’s policing spokesperson said: "I am deeply concerned to learn about the death of a 26-year-old man in police custody and I extend my sympathies and thoughts to his family at this time.

“It is understood the young man died after midnight this morning following an incident on the Antrim Road where he was arrested.

“I spoke with senior police today and this death was automatically referred to the Police Ombudsman who is now is in charge of an investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding this man's death in police custody.”