Bloodstains on garda custody victim the result of trauma, not "hanging"
An independent forensic expert has said that blood on the clothes of a man who died after being in Garda custody is it not consistent with him hanging himself, as was claimed by the Garda Síochána.
Terence Wheelock (20) was found unconscious in his cell in Store Street Garda Station on 2 June 2005 and died three months later. The Garda Síochána say they found Terence Wheelock with a ligature around his neck, indicating he hung himself. According to the gardaí he hung himself with a string from his tracksuit bottoms secured to a fixture which is counter sunk into the wall.
However, the family say that there were marks on Terence's body when he was admitted to hospital and there was bloodstaining on his clothes. They also say he was not suicidal.
Until recently the Garda Síochána refused to release the bloodstained clothes for independent forensic testing. A forensic pathologist from Britain, Dr Carl Gray who has now examined the clothes has found that there is no logical explanation for the blood on the clothing and that it wasn't consistent with a "hanging”. He concluded that the blood on the clothing was a result of some sort of trauma.
An inquest into Terence's death has been adjourned until March to allow State pathologist Marie Cassidy time to examine photos taken shortly after Terence was found unconscious. The photos apparently show bruising on Terence's body. They were contained in Terence's file when Dr. Cassidy carried out a post-mortem in 2005, but she did not view them at the time.
The family of Terence Wheelock are calling for an independent inquiry into his death, and Dublin City Council has supported their call. The family say that there has been a lack of co-operation by the Garda Síochána: As well as refusing to release they have refused to give the family's solicitor, Yvonne Banbury, any documentation relating to an internal inquiry they are conducting. And when Banbury went to inspect the cell, Terence was found unconscious in, it had been renovated.
Terence Wheelock was arrested, along with three others, in connection with stealing a car on June 2005. He was found unconscious later that day and on 2 June 2005 was taken to the Mater hospital, where he died on the 16 September.