By James Simons-
Incompetent cops at Cleveland police wrongly described a man arrested for stealing Greggs sausage rolls as a paedophile, leading him to commit suicide, an inquest has heard.
Brian Temple, 34,(pictured) from Redcar, committed suicide on New Year’s Eve in 2017 , several months after the alleged theft of a packet of Greggs snacks, Teesside coroner’s court was told.
A serious blunder on Temple’s release papers wrongly stated that he had been suspected of inciting sexual relations with a 13-year-old girl.
Temple was unaware of the error when he gave the papers, which he thought was only about the sausage roll theft to his then girlfriend to read , the court heard. When she read about the paedophilia allegation, she spread the fake news, this straining their relationship and eventually leading to them splitting up.
The poor man was subsequently subjected to verbal and physical abuse and his home was attacked, the court heard.
His situation was made worse after he reported threats and assaults to the police, because visits by police welfare officers to Temple’s home only fuelled unfounded suspicions about him, the court was told.
Temple later turned to drink and drugs to cope with the excessive abuse. Coroner Claire Bailey cited a toxicology report conducted after Temple’s death which found quantities of alcohol in his system, and traces of cocaine, anti-anxiety drugs and a sleeping pill.
His body was found by his brother Paul, after the family became concerned that they had not heard from him for a day. The court was read statements from members of his family, including his mother who has since died. She had described her son as “happy go lucky” before she said the incorrect release papers prompted depression.
In his statement, his brother said Temple never showed any suicidal tendencies. Paul Temple said the mistake on the release sheet “would drive anyone mad”.
In her statement, Temple’s sister-in-law, Crystal, said the mistaken papers were found in his pocket at the time of his death. She suggested the police failed in its “duty of care” to Temple, who she said had mental health problems at the time of his arrest.
In his statement to the court, DS Agar of Cleveland police blamed the mistake on “genuine human error”.
An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct concluded that human error caused the mistake, and that this was “incredibly unusual”, the inquest was told.
However, analysts examining the case say human error is a poor excuse for such a blunder.
Mental health analyst, Deon Vernhoven, told The Eye Of Media.Com: making such an error on a police file is inexcusable. How can anybody prove it was an error? It could easily have been spiteful and deliberate, the error needs to be explained. Had the officer in question dealt with another individual who was suspected of paedophila against a 13 year old girl on the same day they write the report, and if so, can they provide evidence of it?
The IOPC, which has oversight of the entire police force in the Uk, held no police officers accountable for the serious blunder, and concluded the false statement in Temple’s fine to have just been an error.
They told this publication it has made recommendations to the force to avoid such an error ever occurring again.
The IOPC has promised to send full details of their investigation and recommendations to the police force in the case of Mr. Temple.
Recommendations to avoid errors like that in the story of Temple are not deemed satisfactory in cases like this because of the scale of the error in question.
Cleveland police has been contacted for comment.