Witnesses sought to arrest prior to custody death

PUBLISHED: 15:10 26 January 2015


AN APPEAL has been launched for witnesses to an arrest after a Burnham man died in police custody last month.

David Fournier D’albe was arrested on December 28 in Burnham for being drunk and disorderly and obstructing emergency service officials as they battled to extinguish a flat fire in College Street.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) launched an investigation shortly after the death of the 40-year-old two days later, at around 4am, while he was in police custody at Bridgwater’s Express Park.

The IPCC has now revealed Mr Fournier D’albe was taken to hospital shortly after his initial arrest, and is appealing for witnesses to come forward to help determine the use of ‘restraint or force’ and care he received in custody.

After being discharged from hospital in the early hours of December 29, Mr Fournier D’albe was returned to custody, charged, and was due to face magistrates hours after he was found ‘unresponsive’ in his cell, according to an Avon and Somerset Constabulary spokesman.

IPCC commissioner Cindy Butts said: “My thoughts are with Mr Fournier D’albe’s family at this difficult time. Investigators have met with them to explain our role and will provide updates as they progress.

“Our investigation is looking at the contact between Mr Fournier D’albe and officers from the point of his arrest. This will include the use of any restraint or force, the care he received in custody and whether the checks conducted on him while in his cell were appropriate.”

Any witnesses to Mr D’albe’s arrest are urged to phone 08000 969075 or email bridgwater@ipcc.gis.gov.uk

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