Man Died After Police 'Assault'

Excessive Force


A court has heard how a man collapsed and died after being assaulted by a police officer who barged into his home and accused him of breaching the peace.

Pc Gary Jay, 41, denied assaulting Ronnie O'Reilly when he appeared before Southend magistrates. He also denied a charge of assaulting Mr Reilly's wife, Moira.

Mrs O'Reilly told the court that Pc Jay had forced his way into their home in Clacton, Essex, to intervene in an argument between Mr O'Reilly and his 12-year-old son. The police constable pushed Mrs O'Reilly three times before shoving her husband, magistrates heard. The 48-year-old tugboat captain collapsed soon after with chest pains and died on the way to Colchester General Hospital.

Mrs O'Reilly, giving evidence, claimed that Pc Jay had been "aggressive" when she answered the door to him. "He said 'can I come in?' and my husband said 'no'. Pc Jay pushed me out of the way and said 'I'm in, now what are you going to do?'."

She told the court that post mortem tests revealed her husband was suffering from heart disease.

The trial continues.

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Ifti Manzoor from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "The police need to use no more force than is reasonable. This seems to be a very tragic and serious case which has resulted in the death of a man. Clearly the CPs have taken the view that there is sufficient evidence to formally charge the police officer concerned.

"There also may well be a civil action against the police to be taken which the family may consider pending the outcome of the criminal trial."

Find out more about making a possible claim if you've been the subject of police negligence or wrongful arrest