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Guildford cell death: Police 'thought woman was asleep'

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionMiranda Stevenson had a history of alcohol and drug misuse and had lost custody of her four children

A woman who was found dead in a police cell appeared to have stopped breathing the night before her body was found, an inquest jury has heard.

Miranda Stevenson, who was addicted to drugs, was found lifeless at Guildford police station at 07:30 on 1 June 2015.

Pathologists who viewed CCTV of her cell said she seemed to have stopped breathing at 19:30 the previous day.

The inquest was told she was checked every 30 minutes overnight, but police staff had thought she was asleep.

Surrey Coroner's Court in Woking heard the 42-year-old mother of four had been detained by Surrey Police in the early hours of Saturday 30 May for having entered premises that were subject to a closure order.

Sleeping on the streets

She became unwell at 06:30 BST that day and was seen by a health professional at 08:15, when she explained she was withdrawing from opiates.

After being sent to hospital she was returned to custody at about 18:00, awaiting a hearing before magistrates on the Monday.

Ms Stevenson became ill again and was observed overnight, but started to feel better by the afternoon of Sunday 31 May, the inquest heard. She was found dead the next morning.

The jury heard Ms Stevenson had a history of alcohol and drug misuse and had lost custody of her children.

In a statement, her mother Wendy Inman said her daughter had become involved in criminal activity and ended up sleeping on the streets.

The hearing continues.

Related Topics

  • Surrey County Council
  • Guildford

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  • Surrey Coroner

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