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Brother of Sudbury woman who died following fall from flat window calls for investigation into death after claiming police 'failed in duty of care'





The brother of a 33-year-old woman, who died after falling from a window at a block of flats, is calling for an investigation into his sister’s death.

Emma Fraser claimed she had been poisoned during a conversation with a police call handler, before falling from a second-storey window at a flat in Trinity Court, Halstead, on June 28.

Following the incident, the former Sudbury Upper School student was taken to hospital, where she later died from her injuries. Her death was not treated as suspicious.

Emma Fraser, whose brother, Danny Fraser, h (41229255)
Emma Fraser, whose brother, Danny Fraser, h (41229255)

Concerned about how Essex Police handled the incident, Miss Fraser’s brother, Danny, has lodged a formal complaint with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and is calling for a criminal investigation to be conducted.

“It’s never been treated as a crime,” he said “We don’t know if she fell out of the window of her own accord, or if she had been poisoned.”

Deeply saddened that his sister could not be saved after phoning the police, Mr Fraser said: “The police have failed in their duty of care when Emma, for whatever reason, was in her time of need, and had made the allegation that she had been poisoned.

Danny Fraser has lodged a formal complaint with the IOPC over the handling of his sister's death. (41228956)
Danny Fraser has lodged a formal complaint with the IOPC over the handling of his sister's death. (41228956)

“The police arrived on the scene and however many minutes later, she has somehow fallen out of the window and lost her life.”

Mr Fraser said he would like to see his complaint to the IOPC result in an in-depth investigation, so the family can understand what happened in the moments leading up to his sister’s death.

“Unfortunately, nothing is going to bring my sister back,” said the 42-year-old. “But, by us doing this, it will hopefully give us answers.”

Emma Fraser, whose brother, Danny Fraser, has lodged a complaint with IOPC over the handling of her death. (41229155)
Emma Fraser, whose brother, Danny Fraser, has lodged a complaint with IOPC over the handling of her death. (41229155)

Mr Fraser said that while he knew his sister had been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and was taking medication for depression, he was unaware of any other mental health conditions, which she could have suffered from.

An inquest into her death has been scheduled for November, when the results of a post-mortem examination and toxicology report will be disclosed.

A spokesman for the IOPC confirmed it had received a complaint, which had been passed on to Essex Police “for the force to initially consider”.

Emma Fraser, whose brother, Danny Fraser, h (41229296)
Emma Fraser, whose brother, Danny Fraser, h (41229296)

An Essex Police spokesman added: “We want to express our sympathy and condolences to the family.

“A formal complaint has been made and an investigation is being carried out. Due to this, we cannot comment further at this time.”

Reflecting on the impact that the loss of his sister has had on his family, Mr Fraser said: “Everyone is in shock; we all loved Emma.”

Mr Fraser, who moved to northern Italy from Sudbury 12 years ago, said that, due to the circumstances of his sister’s death, he had struggled to grieve for her before attending the funeral earlier this month.

“As soon as the music came on, it was like the floodgates had opened,” said the father-of-two. “It was like a release for me.”

After losing his sister, Mr Fraser, who was desperate for his family to receive further information about the circumstances surrounding the incident, put together a time scale of the events leading to her death.

He contacted Essex Police with a series of questions and requested CCTV footage from the housing association firm which manages the property where Emma had been staying during the coronavirus lockdown.

Mr Fraser said: “I have had to give up work while I’m dealing with this, so it has been having an impact.”

Mr Fraser said it had been a great comfort to the family to see friends of his sisters attend her funeral, with one friend having travelled from Liverpool to pay his respects.

“Bearing in mind that we were limited on numbers, he still came down,” he said.

Highlighting his sister’s qualities, Mr Fraser said: “She had an impact on a lot of people.

“She was the sort of person who, if you were friends with, you would be friends with for life.

“If you talked to her friends, they would say she wouldn’t judge someone if she didn’t agree with them.

“She was so lovely and will be sorely missed by everyone who knew her.”