Derby

David Stokes death: IPCC finds no police misconduct issues

A617 near Chesterfield Image copyright Google
Image caption David Stokes was in a car pursued by police at speeds of up to 130mph on the A617 near Chesterfield

There were no misconduct issues for officers who arrested and detained a man who swallowed cocaine and then died, the police watchdog said.

David Stokes died after being detained as part of a pre-planned drugs operation in 2013.

He was in a car pursued by police at speeds up to 130mph before his arrest and subsequent death on 19 April.

Officers from Derbyshire Constabulary believed he had something hidden in his mouth, but found no drugs.

The 31-year-old, from Birmingham, then became unwell as he was being transported to Chesterfield Police Station.

The police van was diverted to hospital where he died shortly afterwards.

An inquest into his death concluded on Friday and returned a finding of misadventure and cocaine toxicity.

Image copyright Google
Image caption David Stokes became unwell as he was being transported to Chesterfield Police Station.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which began investigating his death, has not been able to establish at what point the cocaine was swallowed.

In a statement the IPCC said it had also been "unable to make a complete determination around the duty of care afforded by officers to Mr Stokes".

"However, the investigation found no issues in relation to the use of force during his detention and no injuries were found to have caused or contributed to his death," it said.

Image caption The IPCC has found no misconduct issues for officers who arrested and detained David Stokes

The IPCC previously complained that eight Derbyshire police officers had refused to answer questions during the inquiry - and would only provide written statements.

Mr Stokes died after the car he was in was chased by police on the A617, near Chesterfield.

Lack of risk assessment

The tactical plan had been for police to "box in" the car to avoid a pursuit, and prevent evidence being disposed of.

The IPCC said the "apparent lack of a risk assessment" in the event of the plan failing was highlighted as a learning point for the force.

The watchdog's investigation report is still due to be published.

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