Probe into mental health patient’s police van death

A psychiatric patient who died in the back of a police van is to have his death investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission

The commission is to examine the death of 22-year-old Matthew Lovell from Bournemouth on October 28 this year following his arrest under section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

At 5.10pm on October 28 medical staff at the Herbert Day Hospital in Alumhurst Road, Westbourne, Bournemouth called police after Mr Lovell had left the hospital and had gone to a nearby beach.

Mr Lovell was found by staff in the Alum Chine area and police officers detained him under the Mental Health Act approximately 40 minutes after the call.

Mr Lovell was taken into a police van and driven to St Annes Hospital, Poole, a secure mental health unit.

On arrival he was found collapsed in the van.

An ambulance was called to the unit and took Mr Lovell to Poole General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead after arrival at about 7pm.

Dorset Police referred Mr Lovell’s death to the IPCC.

A post-mortem last month did not establish the cause of death and will now wait for further analysis and tests.

The post-mortem did confirm that there were no significant external injuries.

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