Beds, Herts & Bucks

Leon Briggs custody death cause 'not determined'

Leon Briggs Image copyright FAIRLEYS
Image caption Leon Briggs died in hospital after becoming ill at Luton police station

The cause of the death of a Luton man who died after being taken into police custody has not yet been determined, a coroner has said.

An inquest into the death of Leon Briggs, 39, who died in hospital last November after being held over concerns about his behaviour, has been opened and adjourned.

Hertfordshire coroner Edward Thomas said he was awaiting the results of histology and toxicology tests.

He said no further tests were required.

Father-of-two Mr Briggs, of Ashburnham Road, was detained in Marsh Road on 4 November following concerns from members of the public.

He became ill at Luton police station and taken to Luton and Dunstable Hospital where he died.

A post-mortem examination failed to find a cause of death so the histology and toxicology tests were carried out.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into Mr Briggs' death is taking place and seven members of Bedfordshire police staff, including five police officers have been suspended.

They have been interviewed under criminal caution by IPCC investigators on suspicion of offences including gross negligence and/or unlawful act manslaughter, misconduct in public office, and/or offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The inquest was adjourned until a case review in March but Mr Thomas said he was able to release Mr Briggs body to the family.

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