Policemen sacked over prison death

HANS DALTON: Found dead in a prison cell in Samoa.
HANS DALTON: Found dead in a prison cell in Samoa.

Two policemen have been fired over the death of an Aucklander who was found dead in a Samoan prison cell with his head in 44-gallon drum of water.

Police initially ruled that Hans Dalton had taken his own life at Tafa'igata Prison outside of Apia on Boxing Day.

But late last month police charged a prisoner, Jonathan Patrick Crichton, 21, with his murder.

Crichton is yet to enter a plea but earlier this month was sentenced to life for killing a taxi driver at gunpoint last year.

He will appear in court again next week over Dalton's death.

Dalton, who suffered from poor mental health, was in jail when he was allegedly killed.

He had been moved there because police had nowhere to restrain him when he became violent.

The Samoa Observer reported today that two police constables had been sacked and another could lose his job following an internal investigation.

Assistant Police Commissioner Le'aupepe Fatu Pula declined to reveal the names of the officers.

But he said they were found guilty of "neglect of duty in relation to Dalton's murder".

"They pleaded guilty and were charged under the Police Tribunal when they appeared in front of the commissioner," Le'aupepe said.

"They have been dismissed."

Another officer is awaiting his fate pending a decision from the Police Tribunal in relation to Dalton's case.

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