Police officers cleared of gross misconduct after death of Olaseni Lewis
PUBLISHED: 15:45 06 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:45 06 October 2017
An inquest had found “excessive force” had been used to restrain the patient
Police officers threatened with gross misconduct have been cleared following the death of a mental health patient in 2010.
Olaseni Lewis had checked himself into Bethlem Royal Hospital in Beckenham in August 2010, but when he became agitated, police were called to restrain him.
He was he was restrained by up to 11 officers, and an inquest in May ruled “excessive force” had been used on the 23-year-old, who died on September 3, 2010 when his brain was starved of oxygen.
An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission found six officers had a case to answer in that their conduct was a breach of the Met Police’s standards of professional behaviour in respect of orders and instructions, duties and responsibilities, and use of force.
All six officers were attached to the Bromley borough at the time, four officers, PS Simon Smith, PC Stephen Boyle, DC Laura Curran and PC James Smith, are still based in the borough.
PC Michael Aldridge is now based Protected Security Operations while PC Ian Simpson is based in the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection division.
On Friday, October 6, an independent panel found that none of the officers had committed misconduct.
Deputy assistant commissioner Richard Martin, in charge of the professionalism portfolio, said:
“Our sympathies remain with the family and friends of Mr Lewis. I would take this opportunity to repeat on behalf of the Met that we are sorry for their loss, and the circumstances in which Mr Lewis died.
“The actions of the officers have now been subject to two independent investigations, an inquest and a misconduct hearing.
“I have no doubt that each of those officers set out that day to do their very best and to do all they could to help.
“It is important that a panel - entirely independent from the Met - considered if those officers had breached police standards of professional behaviour, as directed by the IPCC. This also allowed Mr Lewis’ family to hear about the full circumstances of what happened that day.
“The outcome of the coroner’s inquest raised a number of important issues for the MPS, and policing nationally, to consider in relation to restraint techniques and training. I would reassure Mr Lewis’ family that over the seven years that have passed since Mr Lewis died, the way in which the Met would respond to someone in mental health crisis in a medical institute has fundamentally changed.”
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