United Kingdom

New Zealand police charged with manslaughter after death of man in jail cell

Three police officers could be thrown behind bars for life after a man died under their watch in a New Zealand jail cell.

A 55-year-old man died at the Hawera Police station in the Taranaki region.on June 1 2019, after being found unresponsive during a routine cell check by officers.

Authorities have since charged three police officers with manslaughter over the man's death - which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Three police officers could be thrown behind bars for life after a man died under their watch in a New Zealand jail cell (stock image)

The name of the deceased and the three police officers have been suppressed by New Zealand authorities.

A police statement at the time said the man was arrested for assault at a home after police received a call to attend a family harm incident on May 31.

According to the statement, the intoxicated man was found unresponsive hours later and did not respond to CPR from police or paramedics. 

The victim's daughter posted an emotional tribute to her late father in a post on Facebook on Wednesday.

'A year already since you were unjustifiably taken way to soon dad, I wish so badly that I could tell you your now a poppa shes perfect and I'll tell her all about you I promise,' she wrote.

A 55-year-old man died at the Hawera Police station (pictured) in the Taranaki region.on June 1 2019, after being found unresponsive during a routine cell check by officers

New Zealand police allege the officers were 'grossly negligent in their duty of care' while filing manslaughter charges at the New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday.   

The officers have been stood down,and have been remanded to appear at the New Plymouth High Court on June 26. 

According to court documents the officers were charged over a dereliction of duty, reported Stuff. 

Police Minister Stuart Nash said the charges were laid after a lengthy investigation.

'Any incident involving a loss of life in Police custody is taken very seriously,' Minister Nash said.

 'This has been a challenging case to work on and today's court appearance is the result of detailed work behind the scenes.'

'This will be a difficult time for the victim's family and the wider police organisation. I extend my sympathies to the man's family.''     

New Zealand police allege the officers were 'grossly negligent in their duty of care' while filing manslaughter charges at the New Plymouth District Court on Wednesday (stock image)

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