Allegations of misconduct have been proven against three Police officers this week following an incident in Burnham-On-Sea three years ago.
A public panel, led by an independent Legally Qualified Chair, ruled that allegations of gross misconduct against PC Stephen Brawley, PC Ian Bartlett and PC Nick White were not proven, but they did find the officers had committed misconduct.
Following the ruling, the panel decided no sanctions should be imposed on any of the officers.
The allegations related to the officers’ actions following the arrest of 40-year-old David Fournier D’Albe on Sunday 28th December 2014, in connection with a fire in Burnham-On-Sea, pictured here and which we featured here at the time.
He was later charged with being drunk and disorderly and for hindering a member of the emergency services (fire service) and was remanded in custody to appear at court on Tuesday 30th December 2014.
Mr Fournier D’Albe sadly died in Bridgwater Custody Centre in the early hours of Tuesday 30th December from natural causes.
The cause of his sudden death is not related to these misconduct proceedings.
The officers were alleged to have not informed custody staff or medical professionals about an incident in which Mr Fournier D’Albe fell and suffered a minor head injury in a holding cell, following his arrest. PAVA spray had been used on Mr Fournier D’Albe during the struggle to restrain him.
The head injury and use of force had also not been recorded. This minor head injury and the use of PAVA were not contributory factors in his death.
A further misconduct hearing for Custody Sergeant Ian Flower, who was on duty when Mr Fournier D’Albe died, is due to take place tomorrow (October 17).
Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Watson said: “I’d firstly like to renew our heartfelt sympathies to the family of David Fournier D’Albe for their tragic loss.”
“These misconduct proceedings resulted from an investigation carried out by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and focussed on how duties and responsibilities were carried out following Mr Fournier D’Albe’s arrest and subsequent detention in custody.”
“We fully respect the findings of the panel, led by an independent Legally Qualified Chair.”
“We have comprehensive policies and procedures in place governing how we deal with people detained in our custody centres, all of which adhere to the College of Policing’s Authorised Professional Practice (APP).”
“Following this incident, we’ve continued to provide training, guidance and facilities that prioritise the safety of people in custody.”
“The training provided has included information to assist officers and staff in conducting effective risk assessments for people in custody and how to identify and respond to detainee vulnerabilities.”
“Independent Custody Visitors regularly visit our Force custody centres as part of our aim of being as open and transparent as possible. They are able to observe, comment and report on conditions of people who have been detained and are authorised to check on their welfare and custodial arrangements.”