Birmingham & Black Country

Cell officer in Lloyd Butler case guilty of misconduct

The custody sergeant who was responsible for the care of a man who died in a police cell has been found guilty of gross misconduct.

Lloyd Butler, 39, from Birmingham, died after being arrested when his family called police because he was drunk.

The internal West Midlands Police hearing also found a second officer guilty of misconduct.

The force said the officers "in no way" contributed to Mr Butler's death but offered condolences to his family.

Personal calls

The case was investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Solicitors Irwin Mitchell, which have been acting on behalf of Mr Butler's family, said the IPCC report had highlighted a series of errors and "unacceptable behaviour" by officers on duty at Stechford police station on 4 August 2010.

It said some scheduled checks on the cells were missed and that officers did not comply with requirements to wake up drunk detainees.

The solicitors also said officers were seen making personal phone calls and browsing the internet instead of monitoring CCTV.

Sgt Mark Albutt was found guilty of gross misconduct in his public duty and will be given a final written warning.

PC Dean Woodcock was found guilty of misconduct in his public duty. West Midlands Police said he would be "subject of management advice".

Mr Butler's mother Janet said the family was "relieved" at the outcome of the hearing.

She said: "I have to live with the guilt of knowing that I called the police to try and help protect Lloyd on the day he died.

"However, I did so believing that they would do everything they could to protect and help him.

"Sadly that was not the case but hopefully other officers will learn from this case and others in a similar situation will be properly looked after in future."

In a statement, West Midlands Police said: "The hearing found that while the behaviour of the officers in no way contributed to the death of Mr Butler, it was found that their actions fell far below the force's expectations."

It added: "We do not underestimate the impact this incident has had on the Butler family, and the wider community and the force extends its sincere condolences to Mr Butler 's family and friends."

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