The devoted father of a man who died after being taken into custody says his faith in the justice system has been ‘singlehandedly restored’ after an inquest concluded that police shortcomings played a part in his death.
Alan Leck, 62, provided a moving address to jurors on the opening morning of the inquest into son Martin’s death, imploring them to remember he was a ‘dad, a brother and a son’.
This court has single-handedly restored my faith in the justice system.Alan Leck
Speaking after the jury recorded that detention officers had ‘missed opportunities’ to send Mr Leck to hospital for vital medical care, he said he felt a measure of justice had been delivered.
He said: “This court has single-handedly restored my faith in the justice system.
“The coroner, Mr Carney, and the jurors have been fantastic.
“I would also like to thank my legal team, including Peter Walsh and our family solicitor Tim Gregory who has worked so hard on this case, and the IPCC for their investigation.”
Mr Leck says he feels it is ‘incomprehensible’ that the detention officer who failed to carry out in an in-cell check is now working as a police constable.
The inquest heard that dentention officer Amy Cavanagh failed to carry out a in-cell check on Mr Leck - instead viewing him from CCTV footage from the custody desk.
Despiute not completing the inspection properly, she filled in a custody record sheet indicating the check had been done as expected.
Giving evidence during the inquest, she admitted she had ‘not done her job properly’.
She didn’t inform her custody sergeant of her actions until Mr Leck was being taken to hospital.
He added: “I find it incomprehensible that someone who didn’t do their job and has falsely filled in forms in has effectively been promoted.”
Mr Leck said he is still considering whether to take further action in regards to his son’s death in light of the inquest ruling.
Mr Leck offered an emotional tribute to his son on the opening day of the inquest, saying he had turned to alcohol after winnig a battle to overcome his addiction to heroin.
Mr Leck added: “I ask you to remember, irrespective of the horrible things you will hear, he was a father of two children, he was a brother, he was a son.
“Don’t lose sight of that fact.
“Martín was a recovered heroin addict. I spent 15 years getting him off heroin, but he took to alcohol as a support.
He couldn’t face real life. He had problems, he was no angel.
“When he was in rehab he was voted most likely to succeed.
“He once went to Bulgaria to make ramps for disabled people. If he saw an old woman crossing the road he would carry their bags.
“He would help anyone. There really was another person there.”