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Fedster

Homeless man died outside police station following ejection, hearing told

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Fedster

He had been trying to collect his dog from kennels after a stay at hospital.

Press Association file photo

Press Association file photo

Date - 16th November 2018
By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle

 

A PC who was initially investigated for manslaughter has been hauled in front of a police performance panel to explain why a 63-year-old homeless man was forcibly ejected from a police station hours before he died.

One of the first Metropolitan Police gross incompetence hearings held in public opened today at Empress State Building in West London.

Pericles Malagardis, who was a familiar figure at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport, died at hospital after being found unresponsive outside Uxbridge Police Station at about 5.30am on March 5, 2016.

He had come to collect his beloved Jack Russell Jango from kennels after a stay in hospital and refused to leave when told it would not be possible to collect him until the next morning.

PC Bhupinder Kalsi, based at Hillingdon, is accused of failing to consider alternatives before ejecting Mr Malagardis from the building, using unreasonable force, omitting information requested by the London Ambulance Service and failing to follow instruction and training when dealing with unresponsive casualties.

She is also alleged to have watched a DVD whilst on duty, supported the decision to lock the front door of the station and failed to exercise reasonable care in her treatment and monitoring of Mr Malagardis.

In September 2017 the then-Independent Police Complaints Commission announced it referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider a charge of gross negligence manslaughter against two MPS employees but neither were charged.

Counsel for PC Kalsi, Kevin Baumber said she in no way denies she would have acted differently, had “fallen into error” and wanted to express her “remorse and apologies and condolences”.

He said it is important the panel “eliminates hindsight” despite the “tragic outcome” of the case.

“We have all seen homeless people sleeping, lying on a pavement,” he said.

“None of us would want anything other than better circumstances but it is not unheard of or even uncommon - thousands of right thinking people walk past someone sleeping in a doorway in London all the time.”

Mr Baumber argued that after being told he could not collect his dog until the morning, Mr Malagardis had no reason to be in the police station and in fact PC Kalsi would have been breaking the law if she allowed him to stay inside and smoke, as he insisted on doing.

He said there is no official procedure or policy for PC Kalsi to follow under the circumstances and the police station is not allowed to be used as an overnight venue for the homeless.

“There’s nothing to locking the door than a mechanism to enforce the ejection.

“It’s a very efficient way of keeping him out.

“He would have come back in and required ejection again.”

Mr Baumber said PC Kalsi had in fact suggested alternative options for Mr Malagardis but he refused offers of help.

According to Mr Baumber, paramedics assessed Mr Malagardis before his health dramatically deteriorated and his pain and respiratory rate was “normal”, found no cause for concern and were surprised at how good his mobility was considering his bandaged legs.

“He was not a person brought there by crisis, he didn’t come asking for any help,” Mr Baumber said.

“This is not one of these cases where the person had no choice but to be in the station. He’s not in custody. The duty of care applies differently.

“There was nothing in the capacity of his visit to foretell this injury - no illness that was apparent that foretold a death. He didn’t present as ill.

“Equally one doesn’t expect a person sleeping rough will personally be involved in circumstances that will prove tragic.”   

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Fedster

'As a police service we appeared to stand by and watch a member of the public die'

Homeless man died outside a police station.

'As a police service we appeared to stand by and watch a member of the public die'

 

Date - 16th November 2018
By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle

 

A Metropolitan Police Borough Commander said he could see no evidence a PC showed “any compassion” towards a 63-year-old homeless man who died of hypothermia outside a police station.

Pericles Malagardis, who was a familiar figure at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport, died at hospital after being found unresponsive outside Uxbridge Police Station at about 5.30am on March 5, 2016.

He had come to collect his beloved Jack Russell terrier Jango from kennels after a stay in hospital and refused to leave when told it would not be possible to collect him until the next morning.

PC Bhupinder Kalsi, based at Hillingdon, is accused of failing to consider alternatives before ejecting Mr Malagardis from the building, using unreasonable force, omitting information requested by the London Ambulance Service and failing to follow instruction and training when dealing with unresponsive casualties.

She is also alleged to have watched a DVD whilst on duty, supported the decision to lock the front door of the station and failed to exercise reasonable care in her treatment and monitoring of Mr Malagardis.

CCTV shown at the hearing today was not visible to the press and public via the videolink service used by the MPS, but panel chairman Commander Kyle Gordon suggested it undermined key elements of PC Kalsi’s defence.

Commander Gordon said CCTV taken from inside the station minutes before he was forced to leave the station does not support PC Kalsi’s case that Mr Malagardis was ejected because he was smoking and causing a nuisance to other members of the public.

According to the Commander Gordon, CCTV from outside Uxbridge Police Station taken just minutes after he was locked out show him struggling and ultimately unable to stand for four and a half minutes.

But he was most concerned by footage taken at 5.30am outside the station in which PC Kalsi “pops out briefly in clear view of the gentleman lying on the ground at a bollard having been unable to stand for many hours spread-eagled across the footpath”.

At this point Mr Malagardis had a core temperature of just 26C (normal temperature is 37C).

It was so cold PC Kalsi went back inside to put on more warm clothing before attending to Mr Malagardis but did not bring out any blankets or coverings for him. She did not put Mr Malagardis in the recovery position for a full eight minutes after she went outside.

He said: “Bearing in mind this man died of hypothermia and you felt the need to go back in and return in warm clothing you must have felt how cold he was.

“I need to understand what was going on at that point. There is nothing there to me that looks like someone with compassion or trying to do something.

“This is the time we start to see blood come out from the gentleman’s mouth.

“As a police service we appear to be standing by and watching a member of the public die.

“If that was my mother or father lying on the pavement or your mother or father is that the level of service we would expect or would we do something about it?”

Counsel for PC Kalsi said Mr Malagardis “wasn’t cold at the time” and was “improperly dressed”.

He said Mr Malagardis collapsed too soon after he was taken out of the station for PC Kalsi to have checked on his welfare and said the DVD was one she had seen before and had been put on as “background noise” like a radio.

Although Mr Baumber admitted the incident was not a “brilliant piece of police work” he said PC Kalsi should not be criticised for her hesitancy to act.

“There are unknown dangers in moving him from one place to another. You can’t do CPR because he’s breathing, he isn’t choking, he’s in the recovering position.

“The ambulance she calls that arrives very soon after things start to look much worse because we’ve got the blood this is when the experts arrive at the same scene.

“They both stay in the van for a minute or two. The paramedic who knows there is something wrong doesn’t leap out and give CPR and [say] quick get him inside he’s too cold.

“There’s no call for coats, there’s no warming attempts.”  

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Radman

Whenever I eject someone from the station this is always on the back of my mind, you need to ensure the people being thrown out aren't going to come to some foreseeable harm - early on in the year we had a beggar who was refusing to leave the station as he was homeless and had no where to go when it was snowing and -5 outside.

Station manager wanted him gone as he was locking the doors and that would have been that, i'd have had to drag him to the doors and throw him out into the bitter cold with nothing more than a light weight jacket on to keep him warm. He was adament if we kicked him out he would kick off just to force us to arrest him.

Luckily the local authority had emergency shelters in place and we managed to sort him out, but I was seriously considering locking him up for a BoP not only for his behaviour in being ejected but to ensure he had somewhere warm to stay that night.

What do you do? Well I wasn't there and i dont know the facts but If you throw someone out and they're unresponsive you don't lock the doors and put the DVD player on! 

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Fedster

PC dismissed for 'doing nothing' to prevent homeless man's death

Perry Malagardis died outside Uxbridge Police Station.

Perry Malagardis

Perry Malagardis

Date - 18th November 2018
By - JJ Hutber- Police Oracle

 

A PC has been dismissed for standing by idly “without compassion” as a homeless man beloved by the local community froze to death outside a police station.

A crowdfunding initiative to help 63-year-old Perry Malagardis back on his feet hit its £6,000 target just weeks before his death.

On March 4, 2016 when he went to Uxbridge Police Station to pick up Jango, his Jack Russell terrier after a stay in hospital.

But the money was used to pay for his funeral and burial instead.

He refused to leave after now-former Metropolitan PC Bhupinder Kalsi, based at Hillingdon, told him Jango was being held at kennels at a separate location and could not be picked up until the morning.

She forcibly removed him from the building and locked the doors, returning to deal with a domestic violence victim and to watch a DVD.

Minutes after being kicked out, Mr Malagardis collapsed in the street and never again got back up.

PC Kalsi found him spread-eagled across the street in an unresponsive state at 5.30am but returned inside to put on warmer clothes before attending to him.

It was later discovered at the time his core temperature was just 27C (normal temperature is 37C).

He suffered a cardiac arrest and died in hospital an hour later, despite the attempts of paramedics to save his life. The cause of death was given as hypothermia.

At a gross incompetence hearing at the Empress State Building in west London on Friday, Commander Kyle Gordon said he could find no evidence PC Kalsi acted with compassion towards the homeless man who had slept at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport for years.

Although her lawyer Kevin Baumber argued Mr Malagardis had been told to leave because he was smoking inside the station and causing a nuisance to other members of the public, Commander Gordon pointed out he was doing neither of these things on CCTV footage in the time leading up to his ejection.

Commander Gordon also said she did not make any attempts to help Mr Malagardis warm up and it was eight minutes before she even decided to put him in the recovering position.

He told the hearing although he appreciated he was watching CCTV from the comfort of a warm room, he couldn’t understand PC Kalsi’s inertia.

It was accepted she had considered reasonable alternatives and offered to help Mr Malagardis before ejecting him from the police station, that it was not unreasonable to lock the door and did not use disproportionate force to remove him from the building.

But he found her overall conduct amounted to gross incompetence.

When counsel for PC Kalsi Kevin Baumber told Commander Gordon he did not have the power to dismiss his client as it was not a misconduct hearing, he cut off the video link from which press and public view MPS hearings.

He said: “The outcome the panel has come to is dismissal with immediate effect. The officer was the officer in charge of the unfolding situation. Her actions demonstrate a serious failure of her ability to carry out her duties.

“The chilling impact of watching an officer stand by as he laid down on a public space leads me to believe public confidence would be so negatively impaired dismissal would be justified.”

Mr Malagardis was a well- known figure in the local community and as Assistant Pastor at the Church of the God of Prophecy Lloyd Ellingdon puts it “You couldn’t find anyone in Hillingdon who didn’t know him”.

He was from Crete but moved to England in 1989. For 11 years before the breakdown of his relationship triggered his homelessness, he worked as a delivery driver.

Mr Ellingdon and British Airways hostess Jenny Berry told Police Oracle how his little dog and cheeky charm endeared him to the public.

At first, he lived in his car with Jango, but his vehicle was impounded when police discovered it was untaxed and uninsured- along with all his documents, making it difficult for him to obtain housing.

The pair both feel he was failed by public services at every turn.

Mr Ellingdon said: “He was a very proud man, he didn’t like accepting help.

“The first time I met him was when he knocked on the door of our church on December 20, 2015. He said, ‘I don’t want money, I just need to get off my feet for a while.’ His bandages were soaked, no shoes and he was in a bad state.”

Mr Ellingdon took him under his wing and was desperately trying to help him obtain housing. Mr Malagardis had also befriended British Airways crew including Ms Berry, who often looked after Jango and has since adopted the dog.

On the result of the hearing Ms Berry said: “I am pleased there has been transparency. I am pleased that the hearing was held in public, open and transparent.”  

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Remmy

I hate to criticise a colleague without knowing the full circumstances of the incident, but it does not read well 😕

Compassion and empathy are essential in this job, which can be sorely tested at times.

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Zulu 22

I agree with you but I wwould like to hear the evidence in full. Why could he not his dog back, was he abusive, was he smoking, was he steady on his feet and able to walk. So many questions and the answers may be in the evidence to be heard.

 

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Mac7

I’ll stick my head above the parapet and say I don’t think the officer deserves dismissal (based on the text within th articles).

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Buck
9 minutes ago, Mac7 said:

I’ll stick my head above the parapet and say I don’t think the officer deserves dismissal (based on the text within th articles).

For what it's worth i agree, (obviously reserve the right to change my mind if further info reveals itself).

We should show compassion and care I agree, but we are not responsible for every ill in the world and homelessness is not a police role to combat (although it does often fall to us by default). There do appear to be errors by the officer in dealing with the unfolding medical emergency but the panel/commander cleared her of the issues relating to lock out etc so it does not seem proportionate for gross misconduct dismissal in my opinion.

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Techie1

If it wasn’t for the bit about watching a dvd (assuming it wasn’t for a policing purpose e.g. a cctv disk!) and the bit about going back inside to put some warm clothes on... 

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ParochialYokal
PC Kalsi found him spread-eagled across the street in an unresponsive state at 5.30am but returned inside to put on warmer clothes before attending to him.

 

It is for this very reason that she deserved to be sacked. It would be fair to assume that some might view her actions as being heartless, which is why public interest has to be served through sacking her.

 

All the rest of my this just noise. The fact remained that he collapsed and she decided to put on some warmer clothes before attending to him.

 

Shame on her.

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Zulu 22

Commander Gordon saw, and heard all the evidence, a privilege that we have not had. I am sure that he was capable of reaching the right decision.

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