A prisoner believed to be on drugs was not given a drop of water to drink in the 15 hours he spent in a police cell before his death.
Mark Hutton was also denied breakfast or any other food as a custody officer believed he was in such bad condition that he could choke on it, a fatal accident inquiry heard.
Police custody and security officer Brian Conway told the inquiry in Dundee that he assessed Mr Hutton as unfit to eat nearly 10 hours after he had been detained, but did not request a medical assessment.
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He said: “The nurse had been in to see him and I was getting a response every time I checked him and I was happy with his responses.”
Officers were required to check Mr Hutton every half hour, as he was assessed as high risk and under the influence of drugs when he was placed into custody at 10.39pm on March 5, 2016.
Around 7am the next morning, Mr Conway took over responsibility of checking Mr Hutton and was allegedly advised to enter the cell to carry out his checks, but only did this in four out of the 10 checks he carried out. At 9.27am he went in with a nurse and had to nip Mr Hutton’s ear to rouse him.
Mr Conway did not tell the nurse that Mr Hutton was refused breakfast.
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Questioning Mr Conway, Advocate Lorenzo Alonzi said: “You were aware that you had been on shift for longer than four hours and his demeanour had not improved in that time and you didn’t call for anyone to assess his condition.”
Mr Alonzi said Mr Conway was just “ticking the box” instead of carrying out adequate checks, which Mr Conway strongly denied.
CCTV footage showed that the majority of the checks were simply a quick glance through the cell door hatch.
In his police statement Mr Conway said that after the nurse’s visit, Mr Hutton only responded with one-word answers and did not move position.
At 11.16am the half hour checks started to slip – Mr Hutton was next checked at 12pm when Mr Conway had to nip his ear again and shake him, although Mr Conway claims he still had “no concerns” about him at this point.
Mr Hutton’s cell was not checked again until 12.54pm, which was the last check before he was pronounced dead.
Mr Conway was in his cell for 24 seconds before calling for the nurse. The inquiry continues on September 18.