Investigation progressing following death of man detained by Merseyside Police

12 Sep 2023 12:59 AM

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into the circumstances of how a 37-year-old man died after being detained by police in St Helens is progressing.

We can confirm the man who died was Barry Morris. He was detained by Merseyside Police officers on Gartons Lane on Sunday 20 August, after they received a concern for welfare call.

We have established that, on arrival, the officers spoke to Mr Morris who appeared agitated. They restrained him with handcuffs and leg restraints, after which he became unwell. He was transported to Whiston Hospital by paramedics. He remained in hospital receiving treatment until he sadly died on Tuesday 22 August.

Our investigation is in the early stages but IOPC investigators are in the process of following up on the initial lines of enquiry in the way of obtaining initial accounts and evidence such as available CCTV and body worn footage.  

We began our investigation on 23 August following a mandatory referral from the force due to the fact Mr Morris had been in contact with officers prior to becoming unwell.

IOPC Regional Director Catherine Bates recently said:

“Our thoughts are with Mr Morris’s family and friends and all those affected by his death.

“Given Mr Morris fell unwell after being detained and died, it is important that an independent investigation is carried out to establish all of the circumstances surrounding this incident, including the actions and decision-making of officers.

“We have been in touch with Mr Morris’s family to explain our role and the remit of our investigation. We would ask that the privacy of the family is respected at this difficult time.

"As our investigation continues to progress, I would like to reassure everyone that we are focused on establishing precisely what happened in the run up to the tragic death. Our work will remain impartial and completely independent of the police.”