Two police officers guilty of misconduct over death of Adrian McDonald

Credit: Family photo

Watch ITV Central reporter Chris Halpin's full report below

A disciplinary panel has ruled two Staffordshire Police officers are guilty of misconduct over the death of Adrian McDonald, who died while caged in the back of police van in December 2014.

The 34-year-old, who is originally from Huddersfield, was arrested at a flat in Newcastle-under-Lyme after a reports of a burglary, but he had in fact been invited to the property for a birthday party.

During the arrest Mr McDonald was bitten by a police dog and tasered, although the device failed to stun him. While being apprehended, Mr McDonald admitted to police he had been taking drugs, and made complaints about not being able to breathe and that he needed water.

Within eight minutes of being locked in the back of the police van, Mr McDonald became unresponsive, and found to have no pulse.

Three officers have been in front of a disciplinary panel for 4 days facing gross misconduct over allegations they failed to treat Mr McDonald as a medical emergency, despite knowing he’d been tasered, bitten by a police dog and had been taking drugs.

The flat where McDonald was arrested Credit: ITV News Central

Today the panel ruled that Sergeant Jason Bromley & Inspector Richard Bills failed in their duty of care to immediately get Mr McDonald to a custody suite for medical help.

It was decided to be misconduct, not gross misconduct, as medical experts found the delay in getting treatment for Mr McDonald did not contribute to him losing his life, and that he would not have survived.

Both officers were handed a written warning which will stay on file for 12 months. Both have a right to appeal.

The panel found no wrongdoing by a third officer PC Jonathan Tench.

Last month the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed the three officers won’t face any criminal prosecution over Mr McDonald’s death.

Inquest proceedings into how Mr McDonald died will now progress, with a preliminary inquest hearing listed by the Stoke-on-Trent coroner on November 10th.