THE sister of a university student who died after a one-punch attack by a professional boxer in Leeds said it is “devastating” to know his death was avoidable after a watchdog severely criticised police in a report published today.
Jagdip Randhawa, 19, died in hospital five days after falling and hitting his head on a concrete path following the attack by super middleweight fighter Clifton Ty Mitchell during a night out in Leeds in October 2011.
Mitchell was in breach of bail conditions for his alleged involvement in a previous violent offence in Derbyshire at the time he attacked Mr Randhawa, who was studying English literature at the University of Leeds.
An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report published today upheld a complaint from the Randhawa family about the Derbyshire force’s failure to manage Mitchell’s bail.
The report said a now retired officer has a case to answer for misconduct over his handling of the family’s complaint. After Mr Randhawa’s death, the police told his family Mitchell had breached bail on seven previous occasions.
But the IPCC now says there were at least 24 breaches in the previous five months. Records of potential previous breaches have been lost by the police.
The IPCC’s report described Derbyshire Police’s 2011 bail procedure as “fundamentally flawed” and “not fit”.
It said the process was “so flawed that none of the staff operating under it appeared to recognise the ongoing issues with this one individual and see the obvious opportunities missed.”
Majinder Randhawa, Jagdip’s sister, said: “Our family will always be haunted by not knowing what might have happened if Mitchell had been arrested as he should have been. It’s important that the IPCC’s report highlights the significant failings of Derbyshire Police – but it’s devastating to know that Jagdip’s death was avoidable.
“We believe that Jagdip would still be here today, if Derbyshire Police had correctly managed Mitchell while he was on bail. It’s impossible for us to ever get over that.”
Clifton Ty Mitchell, who was 21 at the time of the attack, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to seven years in prison in 2012.
He was released last year and is trying to resume his career as a boxer, training with Team Fury.
The IPCC, who also looked at the force’s handling of the complaint, said the officer appointed to investigate failed to record it and deal with it “in a sufficiently robust manner”.
Debaleena Dasgupta, Liberty lawyer and solicitor for the family, said: “This is a strong report from the IPCC about a bail procedure that frankly wasn’t fit for purpose. We hope their recommendations for further improvements will be implemented.”
A jury inquest last September at Wakefield Coroner’s Court into Mr Randhawa’s death agreed that he was unlawfully killed by the boxer.
But the jury concluded he may have survived the blow if it was not for neglect at Leeds General Infirmary.
The inquest heard that a series of failures at the hospital significantly contributed to his death - including oxygen leaking for approximately 46 minutes from a faulty ventilator, starving him of oxygen.