Police failings contributed to death of Reading man in custody, inquest rules

Leroy Medford
Leroy Medford

source: Get Reading News
published: 27 June 2019

Police failings in the care of a man who was able to swallow a packet of drugs he had been hiding contributed to his death, an inquest ruled.

After several hours of deliberation, the jury in the inquest of 44-year-old Leroy ‘Junior’ Medford ruled he died of a heroin overdose after being arrested in April 2017.

However, jurors cited failings by officers tasked with looking after Mr Medford after it was revealed they didn’t know the Thames Valley Police policy over prisoners who were suspected to be hiding drugs.

After the ruling on Wednesday, June 27, Berkshire coroner Heidi Connor said she will write to Thames Valley Police and the Royal College of Policing outlining her concerns about the training given to officers over the care of prisoners.

A narrative statement from the jury said: “There was a clear lack of awareness of the drugs Standard Operating Procedure indicating inadequate training on this.

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