THE family of a seriously ill man who died after being forcibly restrained by police and taken to the cells instead of a hospital have branded an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report into his death as "an injustice".

Kirk Williams, who was 26, was forcibly arrested after being seen naked and acting bizarrely in a field in Eaglescliffe, near Stockton, on April 17, 2011. He was taken to police cells, despite a police officer at the scene arguing he should go straight to hospital.

However, The Northern Echo can reveal that Cleveland Police has been cleared of the most serious allegations of negligence by the IPCC - although important recommendations have been made to the force.

The 19-day inquest into his death was held in October and November 2014 when the coroner recorded a narrative verdict. It heard that the asbestos remover, of Beechwood Road, Eaglescliffe, was spotted naked and acting strangely in a field behind the Moorhouse estate at about 11am.

It emerged he had taken a cocktail of drugs the night before and was grabbing and scratching himself and acting "as if a demon was in him."

Eventually police officers used force, including punching him, to restrain him. He was taken to Middlesbrough Police Station but only after former police constable, Christopher Taylor, who had undergone medical training, argued he should go straight to hospital.

He correctly identified Mr Williams was showing signs of "excited delirium" - in which the body overheats to dangerous levels. Mr Williams was put in a cell at 12.05pm and was taken at 12.55pm to James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, where he died.

The IPPC report concluded "on the balance of probabilities" the techniques used to restrain and arrest Mr Williams were necessary, the medical treatment in the prison cells was appropriate and reasonable and the decision to take him to the police station instead of hospital was also reasonable.

However, it did recommend Cleveland Police review its medical training programme and review CCTV and have more audio recording devices in the cells.

Mr Williams' father, John, described the IPCC report as "diabolical."

"Kirk did need treatment and there was a police officer right there who told them so," he said. "He was denied treatment that could have saved his life. They had a duty of care.

"We are going to fight for justice and we want the inquest re-opened."

Mr William's mother, Melanie, said: "It's an injustice. It reads like the way Kirk died was a commonplace thing. It's disgraceful."

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Nickless of Cleveland Police said: “We welcome the findings from the investigation by the IPCC that our officers have no case to answer. Our thoughts remain with the family of Kirk Williams and we share their frustrations at the length of time it has taken to release this report.

“There were two learning points provided to the Force in 2011 upon completion of the report and these have been explored in further detail. Responding to a difficult set of circumstances, officers made decisions in good faith about the most appropriate place of safety for Mr. Williams. Following the Coroner’s Inquest, a representative from Cleveland Police met with health leads from both North and South Tees and guidelines have been produced around the methods to be adopted should a detainee need medical treatment.”