Inquest held into death of homeless man ejected from Met police station in freezing conditions
1 Oct 2020 04:10 PM
An inquest has determined that a homeless man who died after being ejected from a Metropolitan Police (MPS) station reception in freezing conditions died of pre-existing medical conditions accelerated by hypothermia.
Pericles Malagardis, a 63-year-old Greek national who was sleeping rough at Heathrow Airport, attended Uxbridge Police Station on 4 March 2016 to collect his dog, which had been placed in kennels while he was in hospital the previous day.
He was told the dog would be brought to the station the next day, and he remained in the reception area until 12.40am, 5 March, when he was asked to leave, and then removed by Police Constable (PC) Bhupinder Kalsi and a colleague.
He remained outside the station throughout the night. When a check on his well-being was made at about 5.30am, he was unresponsive and the London Ambulance Service (LAS) was called. The temperature was around minus one degree at that time.
Mr Malagardis was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 6.45am.
The evidence we gathered was presented at a gross incompetence hearing organised by the Metropolitan Police (MPS) in November 2018 where it was found that, despite being aware he was outside the station in sub-zero temperatures, PC Kalsi failed to monitor Mr Malagardis’ condition while he was outside for nearly five hours.
She was also found to have been watching a film on DVD with a colleague throughout the night.
The panel decided PC Kalsi should be dismissed from the force with immediate effect because she had a case proven against her for gross incompetence for:
- Omitting information requested by the London Ambulance Service regarding actions taken to support Mr Malagardis and failed to follow instruction and training, when dealing with unresponsive casualties, as set out in the emergency life support treatment training manual
- Failing to exercise reasonable care in her treatment and monitoring of Mr Malagardis, following his ejection from the front office
The case was also proven against her for unsatisfactory performance for viewing a DVD while on duty, following Mr. Malagardis’ ejection from the front office/reception area.
A police staff member, also involved in ejecting Mr Malagardis, had a separate finding of poor performance following a management investigation hearing in December 2018. The staff member was instructed to update their emergency life support treatment training.
The jury inquest into Mr Malagardis’ death at West London Coroner’s Court began on Monday 28 September and ended yesterday (1 October).
IOPC regional director Sal Naseem yesterday said:
“This was a particularly tragic case as, so it turned out, Mr Malagardis was close to returning to home as money had been raised by local well-wishers to buy his flight back to Greece.
“The lack of care towards Mr Malagardis by the officer and the staff member was particularly cruel and the failings of the officer to give adequate first aid was the major reason for her dismissal.
“Police officers have a duty of care for people they come into contact with, and Mr Malagardis was clearly failed by this officer.
“More than four years on, the impact of Pericles Malagardis’ tragic death lives on. Our thoughts remain with those who knew him.”