Mark Thomas acts in Ivan Ignatov inquest

26 May 2023

Mark Thomas represented the Chief Constable of Dorset Police in the three-week inquest into the death of Ivan Ignatov.

Mr Ignatov spent a period in police custody, during which an adverse incident was recorded when he was seen to place clothing around his neck. Mr Ignatov’s mental health was recorded of concern, but he was not subject to a face-to-face assessment by Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion (CJLD) services. He was later released from custody.

Several hours later, Mr Ignatov was reported to have violently attempted to take a motorvehicle following which officers from Dorset Police and the National Police Air Service attended the location and pursued him to a rugged coastal location. The operation to apprehend Mr Ignatov swiftly became an exercise in safeguarding alongside assets from HM Coastguard and the RNLI when he was observed acting unusually, entering the sea on a total of three occasions. Sadly, Mr Ignatov entered the sea and drowned.

Following three weeks of evidence, the Coroner agreed with the Dorset Police submissions that there had been no arguable breaches of a substantive duty under Article 2 ECHR.

No causal failings were attributed to Dorset Police.

The Coroner has determined to make a Regulation 28 report to Prevent Future Deaths addressing communications and training between the various Search and Rescue Agencies.

Mark specialises in the fields of police law and inquests, regularly representing police forces and other large organisation in sensitive and complex inquests.


Mark Thomas

Call 2006

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