Criminal charges could be brought against five cops after a student was left in a vegetative state when he was restrained at a nightclub.
Julian Cole, now 23, had his neck broken when he was arrested outside the former Elements nightclub in Mill Street, Bedford, on May 6, 2013.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has today (Thursday) made a referral to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider charges over the actions of five Bedfordshire Police officers following its investigation into the tragic events.
The IPCC report found all the officers may have to answer for gross misconduct for the manner in which they carried out their duties and responsibilities.
Four of the officers may also face cases of gross misconduct for honesty and integrity while one cop may face a misconduct case for their use of force.
Julian, a sports science student at Bedfordshire University, had suffered a so-called hangman’s fracture, which would have been caused if considerable force was applied to his neck while his head was pulled back.
IPCC Deputy Chair Sarah Green said: “This has been a complex and lengthy investigation involving examination of over 900 documents, interviews with witnesses, a number of medical expert opinions, CCTV trawls and forensic analysis.
“We are now satisfied we have gathered all the available evidence to enable the Crown Prosecution Service to determine whether or not charges should follow.
“We have kept Mr Cole’s family and Bedfordshire police updated on our progress.”
A referral to the CPS is made when the IPCC investigation indicates that a criminal offence may have been committed.
It does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow. The CPS will decide whether charges should be brought, based on the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors
Where an investigator’s opinion is that an officer has a case to answer the police force and the IPCC Commissioner must decide whether to bring disciplinary proceedings.