27th October 2016

Begins: 31st October 2016 10am, Before HMC Ian Smith, Staffordshire Coroner’s Court

Address: Bet365 Stadium, Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 4EG
(Stoke City Football Ground)

Time estimate: 5 weeks

The inquest into the death of Darren Lyons will begin on Monday, 31st October 2016.

43-year-old Darren Lyons had a history of mental ill health. On the 12th January 2014, Staffordshire police were called to his home address at Kidsgrove, Staffordshire. His health had deteriorated and his family expressed concern at the scene to the police that Darren had not been taking his medication. Despite this Darren was taken to Northern Area Custody Facility, Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent. He was not seen by a doctor whilst in custody but he was placed on constant watch. Within hours Darren was found unresponsive in his police cell.  He was transferred by ambulance to University Hospital, North Staffordshire, where he was placed on life support. He was pronounced dead on the 15th January 2014.

Staffordshire Police, Nestor Primecare (responsible for the health and forensic services to Staffordshire Police) and G4S (responsible for the Custody Detention Officers) are represented at the inquest.  Three individual police officers, one nurse and one civilian detention officer are also separately represented.

Darren’s mother hopes that the inquest will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding her son’s death including why Darren was taken to a police station and not to hospital, why no doctor or health care professional carried out a full assessment of his physical and mental care and whether sufficient steps were taken concerning his urgent health and welfare needs.

This case raises serious questions over the treatment and care of people in mental health crisis who come into contact with the police and health care professionals.

INQUEST has been working with the family of Darren Lyons since his death. The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group member Gemma Vine of Lester Morrill Solicitors and Anna Morris of Garden Court Chambers.



Notes to editors:

Please note the mother of Darren Lyons and INQUEST will not be making any further statements until conclusion of the inquest.

Please ensure any requests for further information are directed to Gill Goodby at INQUEST 020 7263 1111 or the family’s solicitor Gemma Vine email: [email protected]

INQUEST provides specialist advice on deaths in custody or detention or involving state failures in England and Wales. This includes a death in prison, in police custody or following police contact, in immigration detention or psychiatric care. INQUEST's policy and parliamentary work is informed by its casework and we work to ensure that the collective experiences of bereaved people underpin that work. Its overall aim is to secure an investigative process that treats bereaved families with dignity and respect; ensures accountability and disseminates the lessons learned from the investigation process in order to prevent further deaths.

Please refer to INQUEST the organisation in all capital letters in order to distinguish it from the legal hearing.