POLICE have been cleared of any wrongdoing after an epileptic man died within hours of being arrested for not paying his council tax.
Stephen Bore, 31, collapsed on a jetty at Smallgains Marina, Canvey, while being led away at midnight, Chelmsford Coroners Court heard.
The court also heard claims from police it took an ambulance about an hour to reach him and Mr Bore had stopped breathing before paramedics arrived.
The inquest was told an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation cleared two officers of any wrongdoing.
They were leading Mr Bore away from his houseboat unrestrained, when he had a seizure and fell, PC Adam Jarvis, one of the two officerswho made the arrest in the early hours of Sunday, February 17, 2013, described how he and a female colleague arrived to find Mr Bore with his girlfriend.
He said: “His girlfriend provided his medication and informed us he had epilepsy.
“Stephen had no issues and no problems – he was polite.
“I said ‘we do not need to put you in handcuffs, do we?’ He said no.
“It was as easy as it gets. It was like we were having a chat with a friend.” But soon after leaving, with Mr Bore walking behind, he fell 4ft from the jetty into mud littered with rubble and car batteries.
PC Jarvis said: “I saw him fall and knew he was not messing.
“You would put you arms out if you were messing and there was blood coming from his mouth. His girlfriend screamed out ‘he’s fitting’.”
The officers spent ten minutes getting him out of the mud and in to a car park to allow first aid to be given. However, before help arrived Mr Bore stopped breathing, and the two officers tried to performCPR on him.
Alan Wright, IPCC investigator, said: “The officers acted properly before, during and after the arrest.”
A post mortem gave the cause of death as sudden adult death syndrome caused by epilepsy.
The pathologist said there was a high possibility he could have died from this at some point due to his previous number of serious fits he had suffered.
Coroner Caroline Beasley- Murray said: “The IPCC carried out a thorough investigation and the police acted properly during the arrest and detention of Mr Bore.
“I record a verdict that he died of natural causes.”
Sat nav error sent ambulance to wrong place
AN AMBULANCE sent to the scene was delayed after being directed off course by a sat nav, according to the IPCC investigator.
Alan Wright told the Echo during his investigation it emerged the paramedics struggled to get to the scene after being sent to a caravan park by the sat nav instead of the marina.
PC Adam Jarvis, who carried out CPR on Mr Bore, told the court it was about an hour before ambulance staff arrived.
He said: “I believe it was an hour from when they were first called. We kept updating our control saying we need an ambulance, where is the ambulance?”
The ambulance service was criticised during the inquest on Jodie Fields, in May, after an ambulance went off course due to a sat nav error. The 20-year-old was found to have died of natural causes.
An East of England Ambulance Trust spokesman said an ambulance should have been on the scene in 20 minutes, but an individual paramedic arrived within 15.
He added: “The ambulance arrived 22 minutes later. Therefore the allegation that it took us an hour to get there is incorrect.
“We have not been called to give evidence in this case, so clearly it is not considered to be an ambulance issue.”
CONCERN OVER LACK OF INFORMATION
ALTHOUGH the IPCC cleared the officers, there were concerns about the time of the arrest and initial information available on Mr Bore’s condition.
An IPCC statement said: “The investigation concluded there were some concerns over the timing of the execution of the arrest warrant because of the risks that might be associated with executing it late at night. It was also not backed for bail and Mr Bore would have spent an extended period in custody.
“However, it is accepted officers should be allowed to use their judgment when deciding when to execute warrants.
“There were also some concerns about the initial information available to officers about Mr Bore’s medical history that would have enabled them to conduct a more thorough risk assessment.
“A learning report also sent to Essex Police by the IPCC highlights the need for a procedure to add medical conditions onto a person’s Police National Computer record, and to be included in the intelligence records held by Essex Police that assist officers when carrying out risk assessments.”