Dead body in Beanhill: Did police raid on house scare man to death?

Thames Valley Police
Thames Valley Police

Armed police have been accused of literally scaring a man to death after they surrounded a house in Beanhill for three hours.

While the officers stood guard outside, 41-year-old Neil Smith climbed up to the attic and hanged himself.

Mr Smith, who lived on Coffee Hall, had gone to the house to visit his friend on Saturday afternoon.

Now the circumstances of the raid and his death have been reported to the Independent Police Complaints Commission by officers themselves for investigation.

A friend of Mr Smith told the Citizen: “It seems he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the sight of all these officers brandishing guns was just too much for him.”

The drama kicked off in Neapland around 3pm when three police cars and an armed response unit swarmed the house. The police helicopter flew overhead while part of the street was closed off to the public. An onlooker said: “It was like a scene from The Sweeney, with police carrying great big machine guns. People were terrified.”

Police arrested a 55-year-old man, who is disabled, on suspicion of possessing a firearm. They also arrested a 22-year-old man suspected of burglary. He has been bailed until June 5.

The arrests made were not in connection with the man’s death, confirmed police.

It was only when police entered the house that they discovered Mr Smith’s body in the attic.

A force spokesman said: “The arrests made earlier in the afternoon were not made in connection with the man’s death.”