Charges could follow over docker's death

A SERVING police officer could face criminal charges following the death of a Felixstowe dock worker, it emerged today. The officer was investigating an alleged breach of the peace at the Clacton family home of Ronnie O'Reilly when the 48-year-old tug-boat captain collapsed.

A SERVING police officer could face criminal charges following the death of a Felixstowe dock worker, it emerged today.

The officer was investigating an alleged breach of the peace at the Clacton family home of Ronnie O'Reilly when the 48-year-old tug-boat captain collapsed.

The father-of-three fell to the floor suffering from chest pains and died on the way to hospital.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation has now been completed and a file will be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service within weeks.

The commission will now ask CPS lawyers to consider whether or not to charge the officer, although allegations of failing to call an ambulance and failing to administer first aid have been dropped.

A post mortem showed Mr O'Reilly died of natural causes, but his widow Moira said the police should not been in the house, saying her son was simply being told off.

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Mrs O'Reilly said she was relieved to know action was being taken, but said she remained angry about her husband's death.

She said: “It really is a double-edged sword - of course it cannot bring Ronnie back. But I do not think that man should be a police officer and hopefully we will get justice. It was a real relief for me and my family when we were told the file was going to the CPS.”

The in-depth investigation saw the family, neighbours and the officer's colleagues questioned about what happened on June 14.

The incident was witnessed by the couple's sons Keiran, 15, Ronnie, 12, and their daughter Keirsen, 22, who was in the living room with her baby, Jack.

The policeman involved has not been suspended but has been placed on restricted duties until further notice.

Mr O'Reilly had worked at the docks in Felixstowe since he was just 16 and flags were flown at half mast as a mark of respect.

A spokesman for the IPCC confirmed: “The file has not yet been passed to the CPS following the IPCC investigation, but it is likely to be and a full statement will then be made.”

An Essex Police spokeswoman said the force was unable to comment on the matter because of the ongoing enquiries.

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