Five officers accused of misconduct after man’s fingertips severed by toilet rim

Five police officers have been accused of gross misconduct after a man lost the tips of three fingers when they were trapped under a toilet rim.

The 33-year-old was being held at Colchester Police Station in Essex in the early hours of May 1 2015 when he was found with his foot in the toilet bowl.

A number of officers tried to remove him from the toilet but he grabbed on to the rim, and as they attempted to restrain him the top of three of his fingers were chopped off.

He was taken to hospital and the severed parts of the digits were retrieved but could not be reattached.

On Monday, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog said that five Essex Police officers – an inspector, three police constables and a temporary police sergeant – will face gross misconduct proceedings over the case, beginning on May 7.

IOPC regional director Sarah Green said: “We concluded that five officers have a case to answer for gross misconduct and Essex agreed. It will now be for an independent panel to consider the evidence and make its judgment.”

Essex Police replaced all toilets of the same design in the wake of the injury to the man, who was a foreign national with mental health issues.

In addition to the five officers facing misconduct proceedings, one sergeant admitted misconduct over the case and received a written warning while another received management action.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided in August that no criminal charges would be brought in the case.