news

Police officers face gross misconduct charges over Adrian McDonald taser death

Adrian, formerly of Dalton, died after being tasered in December 2014

Pc Jonathan Tench, Insp Richard Bills, Det Sgt Jason Bromley, and Adrian McDonald(Image: © ANDREW PRICE/View Finder Pict)

Three police officers have been accused of gross misconduct over the death of former Dalton man Adrian McDonald.

Adrian, who had been living in Stoke-On-Trent, died in the back of a locked police van on December 22, 2014.

He had been tasered by officers called to a house in Newcastle-Under-Lyme following reports of a burglary.

Last month the Independent Police Complaints Commission said three officers involved in the case would not face criminal charges over Adrian's death.

However this week PC Jonathan Tench, Insp Richard Bills and Det Sgt Jason Bromley of Staffordshire Police are facing an IPCC gross misconduct hearing, accused of breaching professional standards during the incident.

Yesterday at the hearing Pc Tench defended his decision not to seek medical attention for the casualty.

He was monitoring a handcuffed Adrian McDonald after he had been tasered and twice bitten by a police dog inside the flat.

Police deployed the dog and used the taser after encountering a ‘wide-eyed’ Mr McDonald who had barricaded himself in the flat.

Adrian McDonald from Facebook picture

The 34-year-old, who lived in Stoke-on-Trent, pleaded for water and complained about struggling to breathe before he suffered a fatal cardiac arrest in the police van outside the flats complex.

A medical expert has ruled Adrian would still have died even if he had received medical assistance from the officers.

The tribunal heard Pc Tench believed Adrian was putting on a ‘ruse’.

Family of Adrian McDonald arrive at the hearing, Mother Germaine Phillip (4th from left) and Brother Wayne McDonald (right) Staffordshire Police Gross Misconduct Hearing in relation to an incident on 22 December 2014 involving Adrian McDonald who died whilst in police custody

Pc Tench told the Stafford tribunal: “I have known of people say things for the chance to escape or assault officers. I did not believe any medical attention was required up until the point paramedics were called.

“I did not think he was not breathing but I wanted to check on him and thought the safest way of doing that would have been with a colleague.

“I did my best for Mr McDonald and I believe I did that. I was satisfied Mr McDonald was breathing and that his chest was going up and down.

Police at the scene on the corner of Audley Road and Church Street where Adrian McDonald died after being Tasered by police

“He was relaxing and getting comfortable and there were no alarm bells to me. I thought Mr McDonald was relaxing and getting comfortable in the back of the van ready for the journey to custody. I did not think it was a medical emergency at that time.”

Staffordshire Police descended on the Audley Road flat after receiving a 999 call in December 2014. Police discharged their tasers on four occasions and he was bitten on the arm and leg by a police dog.

In his evidence, Sgt Bromley said: “Officer Tench is a competent, experienced officer who was left with Mr McDonald. He is taser-trained and he would have known Mr McDonald needed a medical assessment at the custody suite.”

All three officers deny the charge. The tribunal continues.

View full mobile page