Probe into police actions

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AN inquiry has been launched into an allegation a man was denied heart medication while in police custody.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the claim “excessive and unreasonable” force was used on the 47-year-old from Seaham.

The incident is said to have happened at Peterlee Police Station on March 5. The man had been arrested for breach of bail conditions and allegedly resisting arrest and assaulting a police office.

It is alleged the man was denied medication he reportedly requires for a heart condition. He lodged a formal complaint with Durham Constabulary on April 6, which resulted in the matter being referred to the IPCC on May 20.

A decision has now been taken to conduct an independent investigation.

Meanwhile, the IPCC has said a report into the investigation carried out after the death of 44-year-old Leonard McCourt in custody is in its final stages.

Mr McCourt, from Ash Crescent, Parkside, was taken into custody on September 11. He was found to be unwell on arrival at Peterlee Police Station and was pronounced dead about an hour later.

Once complete, the report will be handed to the coroner and is likely to be part of the inquest evidence.