A man who believes drug dealers were responsible for his son’s death has lodged a complaint against Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary’s investigation of the incident.

Richard Eccott died in Alton on April 2 last year. 

The father-of-four had, according to his father, been a victim of cuckooing, where drug gangs take over vulnerable residents’ homes and use them to sell drugs.

Dad Terry Eccott, who set up a Facebook page called A Cuckoo in the Nest to try to help stamp out the crime, said this week: “The story continues for Richard’s family, 18 months after his death aged 31, after the police decided Richard’s death was not suspicious, even after all the evidence given to them after his death.

“This included 14 mobile phones, empty kilo bags with cannabis residue in them, small empty packets with cocaine dust at the bottom, and other drug paraphernalia such as grinders and electronic scales.

“Only a few feet from his lifeless body there was a large tablespoon containing a burned black substance on a bedside table, as well as a hole in the wall where his safe had been – which was apparently missed by officers on the scene.

“A closed-circuit television recording of Richard’s safe being carried into another address was dismissed by one officer ‘as that could be anyone’s safe’.

“Also, one of the officers’ witness statements was dated November 8, 2022 – 31 weeks after Richard’s death.

“This is now being looked into by the Professional Standards Department.”

Once a cuckooing drug gang takes control of a property, its owners or tenants are at risk of domestic abuse, sexual exploitation and violence.

A Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary spokesperson said: “We can confirm a complaint has been received regarding this and our Professional Standards Department are reviewing it.”