A Belarussion national found unconscious in a cell at Dundalk Garda Station died from a combination of a minor head injury and acute alcohol intoxication, an inquest heard yesterday (Monday). An earlier hearing was told that the 37 year old had been identified through passport photos and immigration records from the Belarussion embassy in London.
The jury heard that Eduard Berazhkou - who’d been staying at various addresses in the Dundalk area, was discovered slumped and unconscious on the floor of the garda cell on the sixth of June 2010.
The inquest was told that the deceased had earlier been arrested for his own safety after he was found lying on the ground in a local shopping centre car park.
Paramedics who were called to the scene were unable to get a shockable rhythm but jury heard that advanced paramedics who were in the area administered drugs and got a weak pulse and continued CPR. Efforts to rescuitate continued at the Louth County Hospital for another 30 minutes but were unsuccessful.
Gardai who dealt with the 37 year old told how he was a “happy” drunk and had been singing in the Garda Station. They said he was uncooperative in terms of giving his name and address, but had not been aggressive.
Deputy State Pathologist Dr. Michael Curtis said a post mortem revealed one significant injury - a scalp laceration at the back of the deceased’s head which he described as being consistent with being sustained by falling backwards.He added that there were no specific features indicating an assault and he had discovered what appeared to be severe liver disease.
Dr. Curtis said there was an extremely high level of alcohol in the 37 year old’s sytem and cause of death was a combination of a minor head injury and acute alcohol intoxication.Senior investigator with the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission John Leehman, confirmed no disciplary proceedings were recommended following their investigation and he said he was “satisfied the garda members acted to the best of their ability”.
He added evidence suggested the deceased had fallen backwards, after standing up to urinate. The jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure - where an intentional act, has an unintentional consequence.