‘Disgraceful’ – family slam police nightshift’s treatment of son before his death

TRAGEDY ... David Young slit his throat after being released from custody at South Shields police station.
TRAGEDY ... David Young slit his throat after being released from custody at South Shields police station.

AFTER the inquest (full story here), a statement issued on behalf of Mr Young’s family read:

“We wish to thank HM Coroner Mr Carney for the opportunity of examining the circumstances of the death of David.

“We especially wish to thank the jury for their patient, compassionate and thorough consideration of the evidence.

“Our David was a father, a son, a brother, a grandson, an uncle, a nephew, a cousin, a brother-in-law, a friend and neighbour.

“He meant so much to so many. He was a caring, compassionate, respectful, humourous young man and also a talented artist and singer.

“He liked to work to keep occupied and held down a full-time job for the majority of his adult life.

“He had his difficulties in early adolescence but through sheer self-determination and family support had turned his life around and enjoyed almost 10 years of what would become as near a normal life for him.

“David faced difficulties and fears throughout his life. We tried to get him help but we would get to the last hurdle when we thought he would get the help he needed and it never happened.

“We acknowledge that some staff who came into contact with David while he was continually looking for help between March-July 2012 showed him great care, compassion and empathy, but we don’t think others did.

“David went to South Shields police station on the afternoon of the 2 July in a confused, tearful state asking for help.

“We have seen and heard how David was treated in Police Custody. At first, he was shown compassion, care and respect.

“It seems to us that when the nightshift custody sergeants came on duty that changed. We think his later treatment was disgraceful.

“Having to relive this again through this inquiry has been very distressing for us all.

“Hearing police officers laughing at him in his desperate hour of need, hearing that Dr Nellist spent only four minutes of his time to complete an assessment of David’s mental health state, seeing the CCTV footage of David jumping out of a moving car and then sitting on the ground in handcuffs while being surrounded by officers discussing what to do next. This is beyond our comprehension.

“As a family we feel there was a catalogue of missed opportunities to help our David within the NHS system, the police force and by Dr Nellist.

“If improvements can be made from the evidence in this inquiry, it may prevent others from suffering as we do.

“We are a strong, close, loving family and will never get over the loss of our David.

“‘To live in hearts we leave behind, is never to die’. David will live on in our hearts forever.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki