|Kevin Ellis died hours after he was arrested (Picture: Ben Lack)|
A police officer was found hanged hours after he was arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images. An inquest heard that PC Kevin Ellis, of Castleford, West Yorkshire, had been bailed after an indecent video was shared and traced to his home.
Other images ‘of concern’ were also found on electronic equipment on his arrest in April 2013.
Having been released on bail, the 33-year-old was given a lift to his parents’ home, also in Castleford. But the dad-of-two got out of the car en route, explaining that he would walk the rest of the way to clear his head.
|He worked as an officer in West Yorkshire (Picture: SWNS)|
His body was found the next day at secondary school Rodillian Academy in nearby Wakefield. Giving evidence at the inquest at Wakefield Coroner’s Court, Kevin’s father Peter Ellis, a retired police officer, told the jury that he and his wife had no idea that their son had even been arrested.
He said: ‘Had I known of Kevin’s arrest and that he was being bailed, I would have certainly collected him from the police.’ Mr Ellis said his son would have been aware of the implications of such serious allegations and that he should have been identified as at high risk of self harm. He told the inquest that he would not have condoned any wrongdoing by his son, but should have at least been given the chance to speak with him.
In a letter to the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police just days after his death, he said the police ‘bear a grave responsibility’ for Kevin’s death. He added: ‘They had a duty of care but they not only failed him, but his family and friends.
The scene where his body was found (Picture: Ben Lack)
‘Had I known of Kevin’s arrest and that he was being bailed, I would have certainly collected him from the police when he was released or at least met the officer who was bringing him to my home. ‘The opportunity for us to affect or influence his decision to take his own life was not afforded to us.
‘We may have been able to convince him that he did have a future. ‘They handled the investigation poorly and danger signs were missed.’
West Yorkshire Police’s Chief Superintendent Dickie Whitehead conceded that not enough had been done to safeguard Kevin. He said Kevin had not been regarded as being at risk and that he repeatedly said he would not be doing ‘anything stupid’ before being bailed.