Birmingham & Black Country

Officer 'failed to check' on Oldbury custody death man

Oldbury Custody Suite Image copyright West Midlands Police

A custody officer failed to carry out half hourly checks on a man who later died in a prison cell, an investigation has found.

Christopher Morgan, 38, was arrested by West Midlands Police on 20 September and taken to the Oldbury custody suite in Bromford Road.

Mr Morgan was found unresponsive in his cell at about 02:00 BST the following morning after suffering a heart attack.

An inquest into his death ruled it had been drug-related.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) found "a case to answer for misconduct" as a custody officer did not keep an "adequate" record or carry out the required checks.

Mr Morgan had a seizure about 30 minutes before he was found on the cell floor.

Following a medical examination it was decided he was suitable for hourly checks, which were carried out correctly.

The IOPC said earlier in his detention, he was listed for half hourly observations and it has been found this did not happen.

The custody officer will undergo "performance management".

IOPC Regional Director Derrick Campbell said: "Our sympathies are with Mr Morgan's family and everyone else affected by his death.

"We have a duty to investigate any death in police custody and to ensure any learning to help this challenging environment is identified."

West Midlands Police have been approached for a comment.

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