Tyne & Wear

Police watchdog probe after arrested man hit by train

Contact between officers and a 24-year-old man who was arrested and later killed by a train, is to be investigated by the police watchdog.

Christopher Pattinson was arrested early on 10 February and charged with driving with excess alcohol.

He was taken to his vehicle by police but died less than an hour later near Stocksfield station, Northumberland.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission will examine Northumbria Police's contact with him that day.

'State of mind'

Mr Pattinson was arrested shortly after 02:00 GMT at the intersection of the A68 and A69 and taken to Newcastle's Etal Lane police station.

After being charged at about 08:00 GMT he was driven by a police officer back to his vehicle and they arrived shortly before 10:00 GMT.

British Transport Police told Northumbria Police at about 10:40 GMT that Mr Pattinson had been hit by the train and had been pronounced dead at the scene.

The force referred the case to the IPCC later that day.

IPCC commissioner Cindy Butts said its investigation was in its early stages and offered its condolences to Mr Pattison's family.

She said it would investigate police contact from the time he was stopped until he was returned to his vehicle.

"In particular we will be examining what information the force had about his state of mind, both from conversations officers had with him and information they may have already held, and what pre-release assessments were made by the force before Mr Pattinson was released from custody and driven back to his vehicle," she said.

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