MPs hear of Exeter custody death man as charity calls for change

Thomas Orchardby: Exeter Express and Echo
published: 11 December 2013

The case of an Exeter man who suffocated when a belt was tied across his face in police custody was raised in Westminster to highlight concerns over the way police deal with those with mental health issues.

Thomas Orchard died just over a year ago from following an alleged incident at Heavitree Road police station after he was arrested.

The family are currently waiting for the CPS to make a decision on any charges against the individuals involved – with a charge of corporate manslaughter among those currently under consideration.

A decision is expected within the next few weeks.

But this week the charity INQUEST raised his case, among others, to call for a national strategy to be developed “which responds to the significant proportion of policing work that now relates to those with mental health issues to avoid further and unnecessary tragic deaths.”

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