Police cleared of misconduct following complaint by family of York river death victim

19 Oct 2020 @ 10.29 am
| News

North Yorkshire Police have resolved a complaint from the family of Sonny Ferry, who died after falling into the river in York.

Sonny, 19, fell into the Ouse in April 2019 after a night out in the city. His body was recovered close to the Blue Bridge.

Originally from Rutland, he was working in York as a labourer.

His parents, Kate and Stephen Ferry, submitted a formal complaint, saying officers’ inquiries were compromised by being effectively closed the day after his death.

They said they were only advised by police in June to check Sonny’s use of his debit card, discovering it had been used fraudulently at the time of his death. By then it was too late for CCTV evidence to be collected.

Today, North Yorkshire Police said the complaint of misconduct had been resolved and did not amount to misconduct. But the process had “identified lessons” which have been shared through the force.

What the police said

Police carried out an underwater search in June 2019 in connection with the investigation. Photograph: Richard McDougall

A spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police said: “Following the tragic death of Sonny Ferry in York in April 2019, North Yorkshire Police received a complaint from his family into the handling of the police investigation.

“This has now been resolved with the family by way of the Local Resolution process which found that, based on the information available, the issues raised in the complaint did not amount to misconduct on the part of any North Yorkshire Police officer or member of staff.

“It did, however, identify some lessons which have been disseminated to the wider organisation to ensure that all officers and staff are aware of their responsibilities when dealing with such matters.

“We understand that this has been a very difficult time for Sonny’s family and offer our sincere condolences and apologies for the distress this matter has caused them, after the tragic death of their son.

“The case has been handed over to the coroner and we hope that the inquest will provide Sonny’s family with answers regarding his death and bring them some closure.

“A 45 year-old man of no-fixed address, who was arrested in connection with the investigation into Sonny’s missing wallet, has been released without charge from the investigation.”