Police doctor to be charged over Chelsea custody death

A police doctor will be prosecuted over the death of a man in police custody, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

Andrzej Rymarzak died at Chelsea police station, west London, in January 2009 after taking drugs and alcohol.

Dr Hisham El-Baroudy had examined Mr Rymarzak and declared he was fit to be detained.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Dr El-Baroudy, a former forensic medical examiner, will face a charge of gross negligence manslaughter.

Officers arrested Andrzej Rymarzak near Old Brompton Road on 21 January 2009 following reports of attack on an ambulance crew that had come to help him, the CPS said.

Ambulance called

He was held in connection with an allegation of causing fear or provocation of violence.

An ambulance was called after he did not wake up in the early hours of 22 January and tests found opiate and alcohol intoxication as the cause of his death.

Hours before his death Mr Rymarzak was seen by Dr El-Baroudy.

Sally Walsh, reviewing lawyer for the CPS Special Crime Division, said: "I have decided that Dr El-Baroudy should be charged with gross negligence manslaughter for his conduct on the night of Mr Rymarzak's death.

"I am satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of proving that Dr El-Baroudy owed Mr Rymarzak a duty of care, that he was grossly negligent and that his negligence contributed to Mr Rymarzak's death."

The CPS decided to press charges following an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The file from the IPCC also contained evidence about the conduct of four police officers and a civilian dedicated detention officer, who were at the custody suite at various times while Mr Rymarzak was held.

The CPS said it had considered offences of gross negligence manslaughter, misconduct in public office and attempting to pervert the course of justice in relation to the four officers and the civilian officer, but concluded there is insufficient evidence to bring any of these charges.

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