THE family of a 39-year-old man who died in police custody say their agony is being made worse by the inquiry into his death.

Father-of-two Mark Read, known to his friends as Graeme, died in a cell at Bath Central police station in Manvers Street the night before Christmas Eve, after officers had taken him into custody “for his own safety”.

Mark, a former pupil at George Ward School in Melksham, had been out in the city for his firm’s Christmas party.

Officers later found him ‘unresponsive’ during a check and he was taken to the Royal United Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

His father Brian, of Sunderland Close, Bowerhill, said he and his wife June have been left in the dark about the circumstances and are now unable to bury their son as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an investigation.

Mr Read, 66, said: “He was my best friend as well as my son. We were so close – we did all kinds of things together.

“We are getting nowhere with the police at the moment and no one can tell us anything because of the investigation.”

Mr Read spoke to his son at about 6pm on Tuesday as he was about to leave the party in Bath. Mark told his father it was one of the best Christmas parties he had ever been to, and that he was about to go home to Frome, where he lived with partner Becky and their six-week-old baby Mia.

Mr and Mrs Read said they are in a state of limbo and waiting to be told what happens next, as they are unable to obtain a death certificate.

Mr Read said: “Mark was a fantastic family man. He also has a 12-year-old son called Joe with a former partner. We used to go on holiday together and out for a drink. We were such good friends.”

The IPCC has said it will not release any details on the inquiry until the new year.

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