Police watchdog submits evidence to CPS over death of man in custody

Thomas Orchardsource: The Guardian
published: 30 July 2013

The police watchdog has sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service over the actions of seven police officers and detention staff following the death of a man while in custody. Thomas Orchard, 32, was restrained by officers and arrested on suspicion of a public order offence after a disturbance in Exeter city centre, Devon.

He was taken by police van to Heavitree Road police station and just over an hour later transferred by ambulance to the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital, where he was treated for head injuries but died a week later.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said on Tuesday it had submitted a file of evidence to the CPS. The file relates to the actions of four police officers, one of them a custody sergeant. It also focuses on two civilian custody detention staff and a civilian nurse.

Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: “It will be a matter for the Crown Prosecution Service to determine whether criminal charges will be brought against any of those involved in Mr Orchard’s detention on that day.

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