Son ‘would be alive if arrested right’

Published Friday, 20 December 2013
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Two police officers have been disciplined for how they dealt with the case of a Lifford man who drowned after escaping police custody in 2011.

An inquest into the death of David Colhoun, which opened in Letterkenny last week, revealed that there had been failings in how the 22-year-old had been handled after his arrest.

Mr Colhoun had been arrested by police in Strabane during a night out in May 2011 but he escaped and went missing after entering the River Mourne.

It separates Strabane from his home village of Lifford.

Hundreds of volunteers took part in the search for David Colhoun's body over a ten-month period before his remains were discovered in the River Finn.

"There was never a doubt in my mind that he was in the river," said David's father.

"We dragged him in the next day, there was never a doubt that I know where he went in exactly. How he went in and why he went into the river I'll never know."

A misconduct investigation was carried out and it discovered two officers had failed in their duty of care to the 22-year-old. Both those officers have now been disciplined.

Last week a death certificate was issued to the family, three years since David went missing.

They say they are now planning to take a civil case against the PSNI, adding that David paid the price for their mistakes.

"If they had arrested him right he could have still been here today," said David's father.

"The handling of the whole arrest was all wrong. What went wrong? I do not know how he got away, but the way I lost that young boy and have no answers - I've to live with it."

© UTV News
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4 Comments
John in An trim wrote (123 days ago):
Yes the Parents have to live with it. The son didn't think much of his parents when he committed enough crimes to be arrested for. He was arrested 'right' . He chose to escape. His choice. Life is all about the choices we make.
Paul Campbell in Newtownabbey wrote (125 days ago):
How can police be to blame if someone resists arrest
Frank in Belfast wrote (125 days ago):
If the man hadnt of got arrested then none of this would of happened.
Tomc in Belfast wrote (125 days ago):
Sorry, but who is to blame here? It's the fault of the Police that this lad ran off into the river? He made the conscious decision to run away and enter the river - no one else. Any money awarded should be donated to charity.
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