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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 December, 2004, 17:47 GMT
Alder case officers to quit force
Christopher Alder
Mr Alder, a former paratrooper, died on 1 April 1998
Four police officers cleared of manslaughter after the death of a man in custody have been granted early retirement from the Humberside force.

Christopher Alder, 37, died at Hull's Queens Gardens station in April 1998.

An inquest jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing but the manslaughter trial was stopped when the judge ruled there was not enough evidence.

The officers - in their late 30s and early 40s - are said to have suffered emotional and physical ill health.

The IPCC had no powers or legal grounds to intervene to prevent the retirement of these officers
IPCC statement

An independent hearing cleared them all of neglect-of-duty allegations.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is currently conducting a review of the case on behalf of the home secretary.

In a statement, the IPCC said it was crucial that the retiring officers continued to co-operate with the inquiry.

"Further questions have emerged since Christopher's death and the time when the officers first gave their statements of what happened that night," said the statement.

"It is crucial to the review and to satisfy public confidence that the IPCC secures the co-operation of the officers in order to obtain a further account of events.

"The IPCC had no powers or legal grounds to intervene to prevent the retirement of these officers.

"However, it will continue to rigorously pursue its aim to obtain their co-operation with the review irrespective of the police authority's decision, as we view their response as crucial to the review."

Victim choked

One of the officers involved in the collapsed trial has not had an application for early retirement considered.

Both the commission and the police authority refused to specify which four of the five officers who had been charged have been allowed to retire.

Sgt John Dunn, 40, and Pcs Neil Blakey, 42, Mark Ellerington, 37, Nigel Dawson, 41, and Matthew Barr, 38, were cleared after a judge directed a jury to find them all not guilty.

Humberside Police Authority says the four retiring officers will receive lump sums of between 45,000 and 66,000 and annual pensions of between 9,000 and 13,000.

Mr Alder, a Falklands veteran, was injured during a scuffle outside a Hull city centre hotel and taken to Hull Royal Infirmary for treatment.

He was arrested and taken to Queen's Gardens Police station where half an hour later he choked to death on his own blood and vomit.

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