British Police Under Fire for the Death of Homeless Greek Man

File photo. Credit: Nick Fewings/unsplash

A homeless man from Greece died from hypothermia after he was ejected from a London police station into sub-zero temperatures, an inquest jury concluded on Friday.

Pericles Malagardis, 63, was found unresponsive in March of 2016 outside Uxbridge Station, near London, nearly five hours after he was asked to leave.

The inquest heard the “the deterioration in his physical condition was not noticed” by station staff who watched a DVD inside as he waited overnight in freezing conditions to collect his dog.

The Greek national was sleeping rough at Heathrow Airport and had gone to the west London police station on March 4, 2016 to collect the dog, which had been placed in kennels while he was in hospital the day before.

He was told that the dog would be brought to the station for collection the following day.

He then remained outside the station throughout the night and was not checked on until 5:30 AM, when he was found unresponsive, and the London Ambulance Service (LAS) was called.

The temperature was around -1C at the time. Malagardis was pronounced dead in hospital more than an hour later, at 6:45 AM.

Sal Naseem, regional director of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), said “This was a particularly tragic case, so it turned out, Mr. Malagardis was close to returning to home as money had been raised by local well-wishers to buy his flight back to Greece.”

He added: “The lack of care toward Mr. Malagardis by the officer and the staff member was particularly cruel and the failings of the officer to give adequate first aid was the major reason for her dismissal.”

Nassam concluded “Police officers have a duty of care for people they come into contact with, and Mr. Malagardis was clearly failed by this officer.”