4 Jan 2013

Samoa police confirm death of NZ man in cells

9:47 pm on 4 January 2013

Police in Samoa are investigating how an Auckland man died in a prison cell during Cyclone Evan.

Hans Dalton, who was 38, was found dead on Boxing Day morning after Samoa's mental health unit handed him over to police the night before.

Assistant Commissioner Leaupepe Fatu says Hans Dalton was behaving violently and mental health staff didn't have the facilities to secure him so brought him to police.

Mr Fatu says police had no choice but to transfer Mr Dalton to the main prison to restrain him.

He says Mr Dalton could be heard hitting his head against the walls and steel door of his cell, and his body was discovered by staff in the morning.

He was found head first in a gallon of water which was being kept in the cells because the cyclone had cut running water supplies.

Mr Fatu says a post mortem was carried out before the family flew his body back to New Zealand.