Man (43) who fell into coma in custody had suffered head injury before arrest
A man who fell into a coma in Garda custody and later died had suffered a head injury before his arrest.
Mark McDonnell (43), Somerstown Drive, Wilton, Cork, died of a brain haemorrhage due to head trauma on July 16th, 2011.
At Cork City Coroner’s Court yesterday, a jury watched CCTV footage of Mr McDonnell at Parnell Street bus station on the night of July 15th, where he had been drinking with a friend. At about 7pm he was found slumped on the toilet floor and escorted out by security guard Rudolf Lauc.
On his third attempt to deny Mr McDonnell access, Mr Lauc pushed him with a force that knocked him off his feet. Mr Lauc said Mr McDonnell was drunk and abusive. “He came at me full force. I was fearful for my safety.”
Bus station porter Alan Mooney called gardaí who arrived to find Mr McDonnell intoxicated. He declined hospital treatment and refused to enter an ambulance.
Garda Hilary Lynch arrested him for his own safety and he was taken into custody at the Bridewell station. Gardaí maintained 15- minute checks on Mr McDonnell until 4am, when he could not be roused. At 4.15am, an ambulance was called but paramedics failed to wake him. He was transferred to Cork University Hospital where he later died.
A file was prepared but the DPP directed no prosecution. The jury returned a verdict of misadventure.