Police misconduct hearing: Wife of David Hill will take civil action against Humberside Police chief

The wife of the man who died in custody at Grimsby Police station is to launch civil proceedings against Humberside Police's Chief Constable.



Georgina Hill announced through her solicitor that she would be taking civil action against Chief Constable Justine Curran, claiming damages for the loss of her husband, David Hill, and for breach of Article 2 of the Human Rights Act.

It came as two officers were today found guilty of gross misconduct following Mr Hill's death.

Police misconduct case wife sue

David Hill died in police custody.

Humberside Police sergeant, Nicholas Mortimer and PC Emily Turner, will receive final written warnings as a result.

PC Mark Gowan has been found guilty of misconduct and will receive a written warning.

The panel, chaired by Humberside Police Assistant Chief Constable, Lee Freeman, spent three days hearing the case of the three police officers who were alleged to have breached police regulations.

Mr Hill, 57, of Peaks Lane, New Waltham who had been drinking, had been arrested on suspicion of affray by threatening a neighbour.

But instead of taking him to hospital officers booked him into the custody suite at the Victoria Street station where he later died on May 21, 2013.

Sgt Mortimer faced allegations that he failed to get medical attention for Mr Hill when he needed it and after he had been made aware of his diabetic condition.

PC Turner and PC Mark Gowan were accused of a breach of standards of professional behaviour in respect of duties and responsibilities and, authority, respect and courtesy and challenging and reporting improper conduct, which is contrary to the Police (Conduct) Regulations of 2012.

All three denied the allegations.

Earlier, the panel of three heard submissions from the legal representatives for the three officers, and presenting counsel Ian Skelt – who said the custody suite that evening was “not a properly-governed environment” and was “disrespectful” towards Mr Hill.

He added: “That was a significant failure.”

He said there had been gross failures in the custody records kept by the custody sergeant.

He said: “It was specifically put to the sergeant that Mr Hill’s diabetes was poorly controlled, but nothing is done.”

He added: “This is a very poor set of policing activities from start to finish.”

For PCs Emily Turner and Mark Gowan, Adam Birkby said that if the panel found that there was a breach that it amounts to misconduct rather than gross misconduct.

He added that neither of his clients were medically trained and “individually and collectively they thought Mr Hill was asleep”.

Mr Birkby said: “These are two officers trying their best to discharge their duties.

“With hindsight, having been provided with the procedures (Association of Chief Police Officers) he should have gone to hospital.”

Jason Pitter QC, for custody Sergeant Nicholas Mortimer, said: “This is a case of a wrong decision, a wrong decision made for positive reasons.”

He said his client thought Mr Hill was asleep and that he would sleep it (the alcohol) off.

He said Sgt Mortimer had made “fulsome admissions” to what were “human failings”.

Mr Hill died in his police cell from acute alcohol intake and tests showed he had consumed five times the legal limit for drink driving.

Sergeant Mortimer said he had attempted to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The officer said on Wednesday: “I was devastated. I genuinely offer my deepest sympathy to Mrs Hill and her family. In hindsight I wish I had sent him to hospital.”

The officer who arrested Mr Hill, PC Emily Turner also admitted that “on reflection” she would have taken Mr Hill to hospital rather than into custody.

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