An officer at the centre of a manslaughter trial broke down in tears as his statement about what happened that night was read to the court.
Three Hāwera police officers have been on trial in the High Court at New Plymouth this week charged in relation to the death of Allen Ball who died in their custody on June 1, 2019.
The officers, who all have name suppression, were sent to the property after reports of a family harm incident.
Officer C's DVD interview with Detective Claire Adkins was the first to be played to the jury, and the first time they had directly heard his version of events.
Officer C broke down after the jury had finished hearing his DVD evidence.
In the interview, he explained how when he and Constable Chloe Ashton arrived they spoke with Ball's partner, Stacey Whitmore, who described the assault, the fact he had been drinking and that he had mentioned self harm.
Officer B eventually found Ball, and he was placed in the back of the patrol car with him, while Officer C sat in the front.
He said Ball fell asleep and began snoring a short time afterwards.
At the station, trying to get Ball out proved "very difficult" but a decision was made to carry him inside on a blanket.
He continued snoring and was put in the cell on the floor as he was too heavy to lift onto the bed.
Officer C said Ball continued to snore, further attempts were made to wake him up but were unsuccessful.
He is processed by Officer B in NIA and they "entered under our observations as best we could".
He said they then got a phone call from Constable Ashton that he had consumed at least a litre of rum that night.
"After all of the questions had been answered sufficiently it was decided that he would be placed on frequent monitoring."
Checks were made on Ball but not all were entered into the NIA system, including by himself.
He then entered the cell another time and noticed Ball had stopped snoring.
"I went into the cell area and just gently kicked his toes trying to wake him under voice appeal. There was no response.
"I then checked his chest area and noticed his chest area was not rising and falling which is normal for someone when they are asleep and a sign to check for when people are in our care.
"I look at this for a few seconds thinking that it might be the position that he was lying in as he was still in the recovery position with his face facing the bed area of the cell.
"There was no distinct heavy breathing and as stated the snoring had stopped."
He then recalls Constable Ben Patterson going into the custody area and he asks him to come and see him.
"I said he's stopped snoring but I'm not getting any response. I then checked his pulse on his wrist and I believe I could feel a faint pulse but was concerned.
"I said to Constable Patterson this is not good."
He then felt for a pulse on Ball's neck and couldn't feel one.
Officer B then arrived with the defibrillator and CPR was started which carried on for about 10 minutes until St John Ambulance staff arrived.
Ball was then dragged out into the custody area so they had more room to work on him.
After about 20 minutes St John staff made the call to stop CPR and Ball was pronounced dead.
They then left the cell area and waited for CIB staff to arrive.
Officer A's interview was also played. The officer said how after they had placed Ball in the cell, it was thought only alcohol had been ingested.
"We have dealt with numerous intoxicated persons in the cells and I didn't see this as being anything different," the officer said.
The officer then asked whether there were any suicidal alerts on the NIA file, and Officer B replied there weren't.
It was decided once Constable Chloe Ashton had returned from interviewing Whitmore, she would be able to shed light on the self harm aspect.
Officer A checked Officer B's custody form and signed them off as supervisor, "as I concurred with [Officer B's] assessment that the male needed frequent monitoring".
"Also noted on this form that the male was responding to fingernail stimuli.
"As per procedure, frequent monitoring involved five checks per hour at different times."
Later, and after discussions with other officers, it was decided Ball needed to sober up a bit more as they couldn't put him in a prison wagon as the cells were confined.
It was decided to revisit the decision once Constable Gous returned to Stratford.
While on the road, Officer A recalled hearing Constable Patterson call for an ambulance to Hāwera police station, a request is then made to return "with some urgency".
"I've asked someone to give me a quick call to let me know what was happening ... I could tell by their voices that there was something major going on as they sounded quite frantic.
"At 0231 hours Chloe rang to say Ball had deteriorated and the guys were doing CPR."
By the time Officer A arrived, two ambulances were at the station, and four ambulance officers, along with Patterson and Officer B, were assisting with CPR.
"When it wasn't looking good [Officer B] and Patterson left the charge room extremely upset. I followed to try and console them ... not long after this Ball was pronounced deceased."
Officer A went into the meal room and saw "everyone was visibly shaken and upset, they just sat there together not really talking".
When questioned by Adkins about why an ambulance wasn't called, Officer A replied they had checked off the custody suite form, agreed with frequent monitoring and didn't "deem it necessary to seek medical intervention".
In his DVD interview, Officer B recalled how he was performing CPR as the call was made to pronounce Ball dead.
About 2.25am, he then went into the charge area and saw Patterson standing in the doorway and asked if everything was okay.
"As I saw [Officer C] had Allen's arm checking for a pulse … I got on the ground and put my ear to his mouth and looked down his chest."
"I heard a release of air and could still smell alcohol. I stayed there for 10 seconds waiting for the next breath."
Officer B said ambulance officers were in discussions with other officers about pronouncing ball dead as he continued compressions. It was then he was announced dead.
When asked about the NIA prompts that came up, Officer B said he did recall them coning up but "I don't remember those specific prompts … and the fact that he was snoring in the .. cell would give me the good indication … and the experience that I've already had that he's fine, he's breathing ... he's on his side, we'd frequently [been] checking him, we were frequently checking him".
The officer said he'd also had other "outside training" around first aid.
"In checking him you know checking the chest … checking the airways are all clear."
Asked how long he had been away from Ball at any one time, Officer B said "20 to 25 minutes maybe even less than that, I'm not too sure".
The jury will visit Hāwera Police Station on Monday morning. The court won't be sitting on Tuesday, but will continue on Wednesday.
The trial is set down for about four weeks.