Page last updated at 18:08 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

IPCC investigate teenager's death

Thomas Frost
Thomas Frost was on holiday at an oudoor activity centre when he died

The investigation into the death of a teenager at a Cornish holiday centre has been passed to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Thomas Frost, from Cardiff, who suffered from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, died in July 2003 while on holiday at Churchtown Farm near Bodmin.

The 15-year-old's father, Gregory, said the police investigation into his son's death was "incompetent and negligent".

The IPCC said an independent investigation was appropriate.

It was thought Thomas died after suffering an epileptic seizure at the activity centre.

Findings disputed

The IPCC said police officers from the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary who attended and interviewed staff had concluded the death was not suspicious.

A post-mortem examination revealed Thomas had suffered an epileptic seizure and inhaled stomach acid, causing damage to his lungs.

The report gave "massive intrapulmonary haemorrhage" as the cause of death.

But Mr Frost subsequently obtained an independent report on the post-mortem examination which disputed the findings, which he passed to the coroner.

'Complex matter'

An "unascertained" cause of death was recorded at the inquest in 2007 and the coroner criticised the way in which the post-mortem examination had been carried out.

He said blood and brain samples were not taken and therefore he could not be sure how Thomas died.

Mr Frost made his complaint to the police in December 2008 and it was referred to the IPCC in January 2009.

IPCC Commissioner Rebecca Marsh said: "I have recently met with Thomas's parents and I explained to them the IPCC role and how this investigation will be carried out.

"This is a complex matter and in the circumstances I have decided that an independent investigation is appropriate."

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