Stoke & Staffordshire

Darren Lyons collapsed in police cell after threatening carers

An inquest jury has been asked to decide whether a man who collapsed in a police cell should have been taken to hospital when arrested.

Darren Lyons was arrested in 2014 after carers at his Kidsgrove home became worried about his behaviour.

He was handcuffed and carried into a Stoke-on-Trent police station where he later became unresponsive.

His mother, Dianne Aqeel, said she had warned police he might suffer a seizure and should be taken to a hospital.

'Lengthy inquiry'

A post-mortem examination has not established a cause of death.

Opening the hearing, North Staffordshire Coroner, Ian Smith, said the 43-year-old's death was the subject of a "lengthy inquiry" by the police watchdog.

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Mr Lyons, who lived with his grandmother, had mental health issues and had not taken his prescribed medication. He also had a history of drink and drug problems.

Police arrived at the home on 12 January and, after a stand off, found Mr Lyons lying on his bedroom floor. The coroner said he appeared to have pressure sores on his torso.

'Twitching in cell'

He was arrested for threatening to kill two of his grandmother's carers.

He was then taken to the custody suite at Etruria but was found unresponsive shortly after CCTV recorded him "twitching" in his cell at about 11pm.

He was taken to hospital where his life support was switched off three days later.

Mr Aqeel said she told a female officer that he would have a seizure as he had suffered one before.

She also told the hearing that she had tried to find her son and was told he was no longer at the police station, but only knew about the severity of his condition from a local newspaper article.

The hearing continues.

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