Unconscious prisoner was cuffed, inquest told

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A CUSTODY sergeant told an inquest he was “surprised” that an unconscious prisoner remained handcuffed in a police station forecourt.

Sergeant Jack Clark, who was based at Peterlee Police Station, was giving evidence at the inquest of Leonard McCourt

The 44-year-old had been pepper sprayed twice during his arrest for being drunk and disorderly outside his home in Ash Crescent Seaham.

He was certified dead about half an hour after he arrived at Peterlee Police Station, on September 11, 2010.

Paramedics had spent 20 minutes trying to revive him on the floor of the van docking area.

“His head was forward,” said Sgt Clark.

“He looked grey, his lips were blue and purple. I said I didn’t want him in custody, he needed an ambulance.”

He said he was “surprised” that the handcuffs were still on and had them taken off.

The hearing continues.