Jury shown CCTV of dad's final moments in police station cells before his death while in custody

A jury has been shown footage of a much-loved Wearside dad’s last moments before he sadly died in police custody.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 3:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 4:00 pm
An inquest is being held into the death of Stephen Berry.

Stephen Berry, died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead on March 30, 2013 after being detained for two days at Washington Police station.

It heard that the 43-year-old had been arrested from his home address in Easington Lane on Thursday, March 28, after a warrant was issued from Gateshead Magistrates for failing to appear at court.

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Stephen Berry died whilst in police custody.

The inquest was told that Mr Berry had been detained at Washington Police Station and was unable to appear at court the following day as it was Good Friday.

The jury heard how while in police custody Mr Berry – who was alcohol dependent and had mental health issues – became increasingly unwell and collapsed.

He was taken by ambulance to hospital where he sadly died on March 30.

A post mortem into his death found that medical cause of death was alcohol withdrawal which had lead to a cardiac arrest.

Stephen Berry died in 2013.

During the second day of the inquest on Tuesday, December 17, the jury was shown CCTV footage taken at Washington Police Station over the course of Mr Berry’s time in custody.

A series of clips showed Mr Berry arriving at the station and being taken into custody by officers.

He initially appeared to be fit and well, but further clips showed a decline in his health as his time at the police station went by – until the moment an ambulance was called and Mr Berry was taken to hospital.

In once clip Mr Berry could be seen trying to tear his blanket in his cell which was recorded by officers as the first sign of unusual behaviour ahead of his health declining.

Footage also captured the moment Dr Emad Samy arrived at the station to see Mr Berry and then the subsequent moment officers called for an ambulance.

Giving evidence, Dr Samy described the CCTV footage showing Mr Berry’s decline as ‘shocking' and said the decision to call an ambulance when visiting Mr Berry on March 29, was ‘right.’

Addressing the jury he said: “When you see the video you will see how shocking this is.”

Asked why he immediately called for the ambulance instead of examining Mr Berry, the doctor said: “I could have done the doctor things but it wouldn’t have made a difference.”

The inquest continues.