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Amnesty quiz over police drugs claim

PUBLISHED: 11:17 19 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:04 03 March 2010

HUMAN rights group Amnesty International is investigating claims a police gun expert suspected of arms offences was denied vital drugs while suffering a potentially fatal asthma attack after his arrest.

HUMAN rights group Amnesty International is investigating claims a police gun expert suspected of arms offences was denied vital drugs while suffering a potentially fatal asthma attack after his arrest.

Former police armourer Richard Ashley, currently awaiting trial on 16 charges relating to his own weapons collection, has chronic asthma and claims officers left him fighting for breath on the floor of his cell without calling a doctor.

He alleges he was sworn at by an officer when he asked for medication and later, when his condition became more serious, a policeman drove to his home in Fen Road, Pakenham, to collect an inhaler from his wife.

In a letter to Suffolk's chief constable, Paul Scott-Lee, Amnesty investigator Oliver Hasse says: "It appears the detainee might have been denied adequate and necessary medical care.

"Inconsistent and missing information in the documentation of his time in detention shed doubt on the correctness of the conduct of the police officers responsible for the detention of Mr Ashley in response to an asthma attack, which he suffered while detained."

Ashley was arrested in February this year and according to him, started feeling unwell just after 11.15am.

The human rights group raises concerns about inconsistencies between Ashley's version of events and the police custody record and even discrepancies between the police's own records.


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