herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Car wash death man arrested the day before

Kerry General Hospital Tralee
Kerry General Hospital Tralee

A MAN whose body was discovered near the car wash of a garage had been arrested the previous day for public order offences.

The death of Nigel Leigh, not far from the grounds of Kerry General Hospital (KGH) in Tralee, Co Kerry, where he had been admitted as a patient, is not being treated as suspicious.

It is understood that Mr Leigh, who was in his early 40s and from Fossa, near Killarney, had discharged himself from hospital late on Thursday night.

cordoned

His remains were discovered near the car wash on the forecourt of Kelliher's Garage in Rathass in Tralee by a member of the public at around 6.50am on Friday.

The garage is located close to the hospital. The area where the body was discovered was cordoned off and a tent was erected to cover the body but the garage remained open.

The remains were taken to KGH yesterday afternoon for a post mortem examination.

The Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is investigating the incident, as Mr Leigh had been in garda custody in the hours before his body was discovered. It is being treated as a sudden death.

Mr Leigh, who suffered from addiction problems, had been arrested on Thursday for public order offences near his home and taken to Killarney Garda Station.

It is also understood he was not originally from Killarney but had been living there for some time.

Shortly after his arrival at the garda station, an ambulance was called and he was taken to KGH for treatment.

Because the man had been in contact with gardai in the hours before his death, the incident was referred to the GSOC for an independent investigation.

The Garda Ombudsman later confirmed it was investigating.

"Gardai report that, shortly after arrival at the garda station, an ambulance was called and he was transferred to Tralee General Hospital," it said.

"As a result of the person having been in contact with gardai before his death, the incident was referred to the Garda Ombudsman for independent investigation."

The GSOC is appealing for anyone who may have encountered Mr Leigh in the early hours of yesterday, or anyone with information which may assist the investigation, to contact them on 1890 600 800.

hnews@herald.ie

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