A police officer from Uxbridge Police Station in London who threw 63-year-old Greek homeless man Pericles Malagardis out of a station and then watched a DVD as the man died outside of hypothermia has been fired.
Mr. Malagardis, who was well known in the community for sleeping at Heathrow airport, had gone to Uxbridge Police Station to collect his dog.
The 63-year-old’s Jack Russell, Django, had been placed in kennels while the owner was being treated in hospital for the skin infection cellulitis.
Mr. Malagardis moved to London in 1989 and worked as a delivery driver for more than a decade before losing his job and becoming homeless after the breakdown of a relationship.
He was described as a “familiar figure” in terminal 5 at Heathrow airport and well-wishers had been attempting to contact his sons in Greece and raise money for him to fly back home, which he was planning on doing. Staff at the airport and from British Airways became close to him over the years and would give him food so he wouldn't go hungry.
The Greek man arrived at the station’s front office at about 4pm on 4 March 2016 but was thrown out by PC Bhupinder Kalsi and a member of police staff hours later.
He was asked to leave for smoking inside the station at 12.40am and then physically “thrown out” shortly afterward, an investigation found.
Reports say on the night he died, he went to the police station after leaving hospital to pick up his dog Django, who was "everything to him", as he was being kept in kennels. He was told he couldn't pick him up that night but would have to wait till morning. Mr. Malagardis was then kicked out by PC Bhupinder Kalsi in the early hours of the morning as temperatures dipped towards zero.
“He remained outside the station throughout the night,” the investigation concluded. “When a check on his wellbeing was made at about 5.30am he was unresponsive and the London Ambulance Service was called. Mr Malagardis was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 6.45am.”
He was found to have suffered from hypothermia and the watchdog referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider charges of gross negligence manslaughter.
A panel found that the police officer “did not provide information requested by the London Ambulance Service regarding actions taken to support Mr. Malagardis, and failed to follow instruction and training when dealing with unresponsive casualties” after he was found unconscious on the pavement.
The panel concluded that the officer was also “viewing a DVD whilst on duty, following Mr. Malagardis’ ejection from the front office/reception area” and “failed to exercise reasonable care in her treatment and monitoring of Mr. Malagardis, following his ejection”.
Some of the British Airway crew, along with a minister at Wembley who took Pericles under their wing, started crowdfunding for him to get a flight home to the family he hadn't seen in years.
They had raised more than £6,000 from the crowdfund for Pericles, which was sadly used to bury him instead of sending him back to Greece to reunite with his children and other family members.