Tribute paid to Somerset custody death man


The family of a man who died in police custody have paid tribute to him saying he was a "highly intelligent, compassionate and perceptive person".

James Herbert, 25, from Wells, Somerset, was arrested under the Mental Health Act in the city on 10 June and was taken to Yeovil Police Station.

He was declared dead at hospital later that day.

In a statement, his family said they would "miss him every day for the rest of their lives".

Police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating Mr Herbert's death.

An IPCC spokesman said officers at the police station had called an ambulance after they became concerned about Mr Herbert's welfare, and he was pronounced dead at Yeovil District Hospital.

'Avid reader'

In a statement issued by the watchdog on their behalf, his family said: "James loved nature and animals, particularly dogs, and most of his childhood and adolescence was spent with his family's three Labradors and his adulthood with two St Bernard dogs.

"He was an avid reader from the age of three and at six years old started a correspondence with NASA about Space and Space Travel, another lifelong interest."

They said that Mr Herbert was a keen footballer and had supported West Ham United since childhood. They added that he also loved music and played chess.

The statement added: "James' family will miss him every day for the rest of their lives.

"He communicated with us so freely his ideas and his feelings and he listened to us too.

"Most of all he loved us as much as we loved him."

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