Man died after police sprayed him with CS gas

POLICE used CS spray on a mentally ill man shortly before he was found dead in the attic of his home.

A Police Complaints Authority inquiry has confirmed the spray was used on Mark Bell, 26, while he was alone in the loft of the family home, where his body was found hanging a short time later.

"He was in a loft, he doesn't appear to have been going anywhere, or to have been a threat or danger, so why was there a need to use CS spray, which is intended as a last resort?" said Jenny Wilmot, policy officer for MIND, the mental health charity.

A second PCA inquiry has being carried out on the case of another mentally ill man seriously injured when jumping through a window after he too had been sprayed with CS.

The investigations come amid growing concern about the use of CS spray on mentally ill people.

The first legal challenge to the use of CS on the mentally ill is already under way: a 28-year old Cambridge man claims he was assaulted with CS in his home and that its use denied him his constitutional rights as a patient.

Yesterday the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) urged the Government to provide new guidelines on use of the spray with the mentally ill.

A PCA report on Mr Bell has been completed and is expected to confirm Humberside police used CS at his home in Scunthorpe two months ago. Earlier in the day he had been treated at hospital because of concerns about his health. It is understood he discharged himself against advice.

When police arrived at his home he retreated to the loft, where spray was used.

Mr Bell, a father of three, was found asphyxiated in the loft.

The cause of death is thought to have been hanging; an inquest has yet to be held.

In the second case, the PCA has been investigating how a 28-year-old Hebden Bridge man was critically injured in a fall from a fourth-storey window soon after being sprayed with CS. Attempts were being made to take him to hospital and there was a social worker in attendance. The man is believed to have thrown himself through a window.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said yesterday: "We conducted a full inquiry and we have submitted a final report to the PCA and we are now awaiting a response. We were asked to attend by the psychiatric service to help transfer the man to hospital. CS spray was used during the incident."

In Cambridge, a 28-year-old man is suing police for alleged assault with a CS spray and for violating his rights as a patient. It is the first case of its kind.

He is suing for assault and exemplary damages for police violation of his constitutional rights as a patient being detained under the Mental Health Act. It is claimed he was sprayed in his home in the presence of his family and a social worker, who also suffered the burning after- effects of the spray, as he was about to be taken to hospital.

An added problem with the use of CS sprays on the mentally ill is the risk of dangerous interactions with the cocktails of drugs that many mental ill people are taking.

Although CS is regularly used on the mentally ill, no research has been done on the reaction of CS chemicals with the powerful anti-psychotic medication and its effect on behaviour. MIND wants an immediate halt to the use of the spray on mentally ill people and is especially concerned about its use when patients are being taken to hospital.

A PCA spokesman said it had received the final report on the man who died in Scunthorpe and was examining it prior to giving it to the coroner.

"The Hebden Bridge investigation has also been completed and we are examining that too. In both cases CS spray was involved."

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

News
people
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Sport
Fans of Palmeiras looks dejected during the match between Palmeiras and Santos
footballPalmeiras fan killed trying to 'ambush' bus full of opposition supporters
Arts and Entertainment
filmsIt's nearly a wrap on Star Wars: Episode 7, producer reveals
Life and Style
fashion
News
i100
News
<p>Jonathan Ross</p>
<p>Jonathan Ross (or Wossy, as he’s affectionately known) has been on television and radio for an extraordinarily long time, working on a seat in the pantheon of British presenters. Hosting Friday Night with Jonathan Ross for nine years, Ross has been in everything from the video game Fable to Phineas and Ferb. So it’s probably not so surprising that Ross studied at Southampton College of Art (since rebranded Southampton Solent), a university known nowadays for its media production courses.</p>
<p>However, after leaving Solent, Ross studied History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, now part of the UCL, a move that was somewhat out of keeping with the rest of his career. Ross was made a fellow of the school in 2006 in recognition of his services to broadcasting.</p>
TV

Rumours that the star wants to move on to pastures new

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey indulge in some racing at a Point to Point
tvNew pictures promise a day at the races and a loved-up Lady Rose
News
people

Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'

Arts and Entertainment
Tim Wonnacott dancing the pasadoble
TVStrictly Come Dancing The Result
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Lead Teacher of Thinking School Drive Team and Year 3 Form teacher

Competitive: Notting Hill Prep School: Spring Term 2015 Innovative, ambitious ...

DT Teacher - Textiles

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Design and Technology Teacher ...

European Retail Sales Manager, Consumer Products

competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: My client is looking for an...

Sales Director, Media Sponsorship

£60000 - £65000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A globally successful media and ...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past