Inquest into man’s death 11 years ago slams police for not taking appropriate action

An inquest on a  man who died in police custody in 2003 after his ejection from a Bangor nightclub found that his death was partly due to the failures of the 2 police officers which arrested him.

32 year old Hywel Llewelyn Hughes died in a Bangor hospital from traumatic asphyxia following his arrest. The inquest in Caernarfon heard that Mr Hughes was thrown out of the club and restrained by doormen who sat on him until the police arrived. The jury found that the police who arrived on the scene didn’t take the appropriate actions to ensure Mr Hughes safety.

Following the hearing Catherine, Mr Hughes sister, said that the actions of the 2 officers on the night her brother died were disgraceful. Both of the officers involved had faced previous charges of wilful conduct in public office but the decision by the judge was that there wasn’t a case to answer to. They were both subjected to an internal disciplinary proceeding but subsequently cleared. 

The jury at the inquest heard that after his ejection from the Joop nightclub following an incident, he was sat on by doormen for 6 minutes until the police arrived. The 2 officers were PC Emma Lovegreen, now Sergeant Williams, and Sergeant Robert Hind. They put Mr Hughes in the car to drive him to Caernarfon police station, stopping once en route to reposition him. On arrival at the police station the officers discovered Mr Hughes had no pulse and called an ambulance. He was taken to hospital where he then died after the attempts to revive him failed. 

The doormen were cleared of manslaughter back in 2005 and the coroner said then that the inquest would focus on the actions of the police officers. After this hearing the Deputy Chief Constable of North Wales, Gareth Pritchard, once again offered Mr Hughes family his sincere condolences and said he hoped that they now felt they new all the facts surrounding that night.