IPCC submits file of evidence to Crown Prosecution Service in the Thomas Orchard case

Published: 21 Mar 2013

The IPCC has submitted a file of evidence in the Thomas Orchard investigation to the Crown Prosecution Service. This file of evidence relates specifically to one officer during Mr Orchard's arrest and the level of force used.

On 3 October 2012, Mr Orchard was restrained and arrested in Exeter on suspicion of a public order offence and was taken at about 11.10am by police van to custody at Heavitree Road Police Station.

At about 12.15 pm Mr Orchard was taken by ambulance to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, where he subsequently died just after 6pm on 10 October. The investigation surrounding the circumstances of his death is still ongoing.

The IPCC independent investigation is now being overseen by Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne, who has recently been given responsibility for police forces in the South West. She said: "This is a criminal investigation and we have, at an early stage, submitted a file of evidence to the CPS. Our investigation continues and may lead to further evidence being passed to prosecutors.

"The IPCC has been informed by Devon and Cornwall Constabulary that it has made a decision to place six members of its officers and members of custody staff on restricted duties. While this is a decision for the force to make as the employer, the IPCC made representations that they be suspended pending the consideration of criminal charges.

"We also continue to keep Mr Orchard's family regularly informed of the progress of our investigation."

  • Devon and Cornwall Police
  • Custody and detention
  • Death and serious injury
  • Use of force and armed policing
  • Welfare and vulnerable people