Unexplained death in custody to be investigated

PUBLISHED: 13:08 12 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:25 13 January 2015



Copyright Archant Ltd

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into the death of a Burnham man while he was held in police custody.

David Fournier D’Albe, aged 40, had been arrested in Burnham on December 28 at around 9.25pm, shortly after a fire broke out in a block of flats on College Street.

He was taken into custody at the Bridgwater Express Park police base that evening, where he was charged with being drunk and disorderly and for hindering a member of the emergency services as firefighters had attemped to tackle the blaze.

He was kept in custody until December 30, when Avon and Somerset Constabulary stated a check was conducted on him at around 4am and reportedly found him to be ‘unresponsive’.

He was pronounced dead around 10 minutes later, after paramedics had attended the scene. Mr D’Albe had been due to appear at Taunton Deane Magistrates Court later that day.

A spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) told the Mercury: “We are independently investigating the death in custody of a 40-year-old man.

“The IPCC was informed of the death by Avon and Somerset Police on December 30 and an independent investigation declared at approximately 4.50am.”

The flat fire had left College Street and John Street closed for several hours after it broke out at around 7pm, with crews from five stations attending the scene. A police spokesman confirmed ‘significant damage’ had been caused to the block, and two people were rescued from their homes.

A separate investigation into the fire’s cause is ongoing, and is being led by Devon and Somerset Fire Service.

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