POLICE “could and should have done more” when they became aware of the “real and immediate risk” to a Bradford man’s life, a pre-inquest review hearing was told.

A year-long investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Bradford City superfan Colin Harding has now been concluded by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Yesterday, Bradford Coroners’ Court heard that a number of officers had been subject to disciplinary hearings for misconduct as a result of the IPCC investigation, which is said to have identified “systematic failings” by police.

Mr Harding, of Gwynne Avenue, Thornbury, was 39 when he died on August 2, 2015, by hanging.

The hearing was told that Mr Harding had been reported missing by members of his family who had concerns about his welfare, and the IPCC identified failings by some members of the police which contributed to his death.

Reading from a copy of the IPCC’s report, Miya Sikand, representing Mr Harding’s family, who were present at the hearing, said the IPCC had identified “systematic failings” by police. She said: “The police could and should have done more, they had an obligation to do more when they were aware there was a real and immediate risk to life.

“The failure to act and adhere to their own policies and systems prevented the possibility of stepping in and stopping Mr Harding’s death.”

Ms Sikand added that there were a “series of omissions and delays throughout which contributed to Mr Harding’s death”, which included at one stage Mr Harding’s missing person log being closed.

“The grading of the log should have been an emergency from the outset,” she said.

“He was someone who was actively suicidal; he explicitly said he wanted to die.”

She also said a civilian operator and a number of officers had been subject to disciplinary hearings for misconduct as a result of the IPCC investigation.

The 13-month investigation lasted from September 2015 to October 2016, and a spokesman for the IPCC said full details of the investigation would be published when the inquest into Mr Harding’s death is complete.

Representatives from West Yorkshire Police and Greater Manchester Police were present in court, where it was revealed officers from GMP were the last people to have face-to-face contact with Mr Harding, during a 58-minute meeting at the side of a motorway.

During yesterday’s hearing, Coroner Philip Holden decided that a “wide-ranging” jury inquest would be held into Mr Harding’s death at Bradford Crown Court from April 16 to 25, 2018.

Mr Holden said: “The inquest will look at police involvement in the lead up to Mr Harding’s death and the lengthy IPCC investigation which followed and has now been completed.”

Mr Harding was a father-of-three who had been married for 14 years and worked as a warehouse operative. Speaking after his death, his widow Emma Harding described him as a “mad keen Bradford City fan”, and that “nobody had a bad word to say about him.”