Cell death investigation set to go on

INVESTIGATORS probing the death of a Felixstowe man in police custody today said they expect it to be sometime yet before they know how he died.It could also take as long as a year to complete their investigation, which could trigger the need for further inquiries.

INVESTIGATORS probing the death of a Felixstowe man in police custody today said they expect it to be sometime yet before they know how he died.

It could also take as long as a year to complete their investigation, which could trigger the need for further inquiries.

A port mortem was carried out on Ian Snelling within hours of his death.

But so far this has been inconclusive and tests are still taking place to determine the exact cause. So far it has not been possible to open an inquest, which would allow his body to be released to relatives for a funeral.

A spokeswoman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said: “We have still not received the results of the post mortem and don't anticipate that we will receive them for some weeks yet.

“The investigation is continuing, though generally investigations of this type take six to 12 months to conclude.”

Most Read

At the end of the inquiry, a report will be produced which will be discussed with senior officers of the Suffolk force, police officers at Felixstowe, and Mr Snelling's family.

The report will not be released to the public, though a statement giving a summary of its findings will be issued.

In some investigations, there were further inquiries if alleged misconduct or criminal matters were uncovered - though there were no suggestions of this in the Felixstowe inquiry - and sometimes lessons to be learned from the particular circumstances of a case.

Such further inquiries, if necessary, delayed the issue of a summary of the report because it would not be allowed to prejudice further proceedings.

Officers from Norfolk police have been tasked by the IPCC to examine how Mr Snelling, 51, of Manwick Road, Felixstowe died.

He was arrested at the VK1 off licence in Undercliff Road West, Felixstowe, on Friday September 1 after allegedly going into the off licence and walking out with two bottles of sherry.

Two hours later he was taken ill at Felixstowe police station and tragically died.

Friends have described Mr Snelling as a friendly, kind and thoughtful man and say details of his arrest are completely out of character. His family said he was a devoted father who was passionate about music and art.

WEBLINK: www.ipcc.gov.uk

Did you know Mr Snelling - would you like to pay tribute to him? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk