CCTV footage showed police did discuss doctor for man found dead in cells

Ecclesfield Police Station
Ecclesfield Police Station
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Police officers who allegedly failed to get medical attention for an alcoholic shortly before he died in custody were filmed on CCTV talking about his vomiting, an inquest heard.

Neil Budziszewski died in his cell at Ecclesfield Police Station on May 3 2013.

Jurors at the 42-year-old’s inquest had previously heard a series of mistakes were allegedly made by South Yorkshire Police staff in the custody suite in the hours leading up to Mr Budziszewski’s death.

They included documents being filled in incorrectly and failure to call a doctor for Mr Budziszewski.

The court was then shown CCTV evidence taken from inside the custody suite - footage of a conversation between detention officer Gary Houlton and Sergeant Paul Tolero.

At 1.07am, the officers can hear Mr Budziszewski retching in his cell. Mr Houlton went to check on the man, asking: ‘are you all right mate, what’s up with you, don’t you feel very well?’ through the hatch of the cell door.

He then returned to tell Mr Tolero: “He says he’s on methadone, he’s an alcoholic, but he can’t take tablets.”

Mr Tolero asked: “Does he want a nurse down or doctor to see him?”, before Mr Houlton replies: “No I said do you need doctor or nurse he said no. I’ll just have to keep an eye on him.”

The solicitor acting on behalf of the family, Richard Reynolds, asked Mr Houlton if he later performed a check at 3.45am.

Mr Houlton replied: “I have written it on the record.”

Coroner Christopher Dorries interjected, adding: “That’s not the question you were asked.”

Mr Houlton replied: “Because it’s on the record, I presume that I have.”

The solicitor then said there was no record of Mr Houlton having actually carried out the check.

He added: “I am suggesting to you that that’s because you didn’t do that check. Is that correct?”

Mr Houlton said: “I can’t recall.”

The inquest continues.