5 Jan 2013

Samoa police believe NZ man caused own death

5:54 am on 5 January 2013

Police in Samoa do not believe anyone else was involved in the death of a New Zealand man in a prison cell during Cyclone Evan.

Prison staff found 38-year-old Hans Dalton from Auckland dead in four litres of water on the morning of 26 December in Apia.

Water was being kept in the cells after the cyclone cut running water supplies.

Assistant police commissioner Leaupepe Fatu says mental health staff had transferred Mr Dalton to police because they had nowhere to restrain him when he became violent.

Mr Fatu says that before he died, Mr Dalton could be heard hitting his head against the walls and steel doors of his cell.

He says police are treating the investigation as a homicide, but believe Mr Dalton casued his own death and a post-mortem was done before the family took his body back to New Zealand.