Two police officers have been found guilty of misconduct after “failing in their duty of care” in the minutes before the death of a burglary suspect in the back of a police van.
Insp Richard Bills and Sgt Jason Bromley are now waiting to learn their fate after a three-strong panel found them guilty of misconduct. They were earlier cleared of gross misconduct.
Colleague PC Jonathan Tench has been cleared of gross misconduct and will face no further action.
The disciplinary hearing followed the death of former Dalton man, Adrian McDonald, who was tasered by officers and twice bitten by a police dog after Staffordshire Police were called to a flat in Stoke-on-Trent in December, 2014.
Officers had been called to a house in Newcastle-Under-Lyme following reports of a burglary.
It later emerged he was a guest at a birthday party.
The 34-year-old walked to the waiting police van in Audley Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme. But he then started pleading for water and said he was struggling to breathe before suffering a fatal cardiac arrest within six minutes of getting in the van.
An NHS expert has ruled Adrian would still have died even if he had received medical attention.
But the tribunal members have ruled Adrian should have been sent to a custody suite for a proper medical assessment immediately rather than left sitting in the van.
Last month the Independent Police Complaints Commission said three officers involved in the case would not face criminal charges over Adrian's death.
Adrian's family left the tribunal without making comment after the decisions were returned.