A policewoman kicked a dog owner out of a station and locked door, leaving him to freeze to death outside, while she watched a DVD on duty.
PC Bhupinder Kalsi threw Pericles Malagardis out on the street after asking him to the leave Uxbridge Police Station for smoking in the early hours, a disciplinary hearing was told.
Mr Malagardis, who suffered from the skin disease cellutis, was found dead outside the nick hours later after being locked out in the cold, the panel heard.
The dog owner, who had come from hospital, visited the west London police station to collect his pet which had been put in a kennel while he was treated.
But officers refused him access to his beloved pet.
After being thrown out, he stayed outside to wait for Django, a Jack Russell terrier who friends said “was everything to him”.
At about 5.30am, the Greek national was found unresponsive. He was was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead at 6.45am on the morning of March 5th, 2016.
PC Kalsi is accused of gross incompetence in relation to the incident.
A panel will decide if she failed in her duties and could have prevented the death.
She is accused of failing to consider reasonable alternatives before kicking Mr Malagardis out, failing to use reasonable force while doing so, and omitting information London Ambulance Serve requested about what had been done to support him.
It is also alleged she was watching a DVD on duty, agreed with the decision to lock Mr Malagardis out, and failed to check on him afterwards.
Kevin Bauber, representing PC Kalsi, told the hearing: “I would like first to speak about the remorse, the guilt and the condolences the officer feels for the family of Mr Malagardis.
“It’s not our submission that her performance was commendable.
“It’s a tragic outcome and the officer has fallen into error, but it’s not a career ending incident.
“To look at this case, one has to eliminate hindsight.
“She and everyone else didn’t know then what we know now.
“We have all seen homeless people sleep or lying on a pavement and we wish or want better circumstances for those people.
“Thousands if not millions of right thinking, caring people have passed a homeless person lying in the street.
“The time we passed them is a completely different experience to seeing someone who you know is dead or you know is dying.
“That’s transformational when looking at what happened.
“This was effectively a specialist role which the officer hadn’t received any specific training for.
“She’s not subject to guidance as to how to respond in this situation.
“The homeless man was smoking inside, committing an offence in this situation.
“The practice is not to allow homeless people to stay in the police station.
“Certainly not people who are breaking the law.
“The reason for his attendance was to collect his dog, he wasn’t a prisoner, he wasn’t brought there by anyone else, he wasn’t asking for help.
“The predictability of an adverse event is less in these circumstances.
“This was a dog visit.
“Mr Malagardis was choosing to stay outside waiting to see his dog in the morning.
“There was no illness apparent.
In a statement, one of the paramedics said ‘it was hard to see whether he was in any kind of discomfort or distress.
“None was apparent to me.
“‘The patient didn’t want any assistance .
“All the observations we found to be normal.
“The only issues were that he was lonely and had leg ulcers.'”
Mr Bauber said the second time the paramedics saw him, when they were attending another patient at the station at about 11pm, they said he was “conscious and breathing”.
The hearing continues
By Grainne Cuffe
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