Family’s criticism of police over pedestrian’s death

Paul Sutton holding up a picture of his late brother James
Paul Sutton holding up a picture of his late brother James

THE heartbroken brother of a St Leonards pedestrian who died after being in collision with a police car has criticised the police’s handling of the case.

James Sutton, 46, of Silchester Road, died on the A259 in White Rock on the evening of March 12 following the accident.

The police car involved was responding to a report of a disqualified driver.

His 48-year-old brother Paul, who lives in Woodingdean in Brighton, said he was unhappy with Sussex Police and feels information is being withheld over the circumstances surrounding his brother’s death.

Mr Sutton said: “My family and I have buried my brother and now we are expected to just continue with our lives which is an impossible task at present with so much unanswered.”

He claimed the police will not allow him to see CCTV footage, the accident report and the report from the ambulance which pronounced his brother dead.

Mr Sutton is also critical, claiming the driver and passenger of the police car were not interviewed until 12 days after his brother’s death.

He added: “We still haven’t been told exactly how James died. All we know is that he died of multiple injuries. It’s now been seven weeks since his death.

“James was very easy-going and happy-go-lucky and would always help people if needed. Before his death we were all due to meet up as a family in St Leonards at my sister’s house on March 14.”

Chief Superintendent Neil Honnor said: “An investigation is taking place into the circumstances of Mr Sutton’s tragic death, supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

“The matter has been passed to the coroner and an inquest has been opened and adjourned.

“We have specialist officers engaging with his family, as they have been throughout, providing updates and information at all stages as they become available, by email as they have requested. Along with the coroner’s officer, we will continue to do so.

“We realise that this has been a very distressing time and our thoughts and sympathies are with Mr Sutton’s family and friends. The results of our investigation will be provided to the coroner to assist with his inquest.”