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  1. ITV Report

Essex Police officers cleared over Colchester severed fingers incident

Four of the five Essex Police officers were cleared of any wrongdoing. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Five Essex Police officers have been cleared of excessive use of force after a man lost the tips of three fingers when they were trapped under a toilet rim.

The Romanian man got his fingers stuck under the seat when the officers were trying to pull him away from the toilet in a cell at Colchester police station in May 2015.

The officers were attempting to get the man, who has mental health issues, to remove his foot from the toilet.

Sgt Marcus Buckley, PC Joseph Hawthorne, PC Nicholas Pulham and PC Richard Philipsen were all cleared of any wrongdoing, but Insp Christopher Tyler was found to have behaved in an unprofessional manner.

He has since retired from the force, but the panel said he would have received a final written warning if he'd still been employed.

Following the incident, the force spent £69,000 on replacing 60 toilets in cell blocks across the county which were of a similar design to the one involved.

The county's Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet said it was "disappointing" that the case had taken so long to investigate.

“I would like say how sorry I am that this man was injured while in an Essex Police custody suite," he said.

"This misconduct hearing has been the culmination of a long and complex investigation conducted independently by the IOPC formerly known as the IPCC.

“It is disappointing for all concerned that this case has taken so long to reach a conclusion."