Police disciplinary hearings dropped over Thomas Orchard death

Thomas Orchard
Thomas Orchard

source: The Guardian
published: 24 October 2019

The family of a church caretaker with mental health problems who died after being restrained at a police station have expressed anger after disciplinary proceedings against two detention officers were dropped.

Thomas Orchard, 32, died after a heavy webbing belt was placed across his face while he was being restrained in Exeter following a public order incident in 2012.

On Thursday, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) told the Orchard family it had reversed a decision to direct that gross misconduct hearings should take place against the two civilian officers.

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Force ‘failed to properly risk assess belt used on man’s face in custody’

Thomas Orchard
Thomas Orchard

source: Shropshire Star
published: 15 April 2019

Devon and Cornwall Police failed to properly assess a restraint belt later placed across the face of a man before he collapsed in custody, a court heard. Thomas Orchard, 32, died in hospital seven days after being arrested and taken to Heavitree Road police station in Exeter, Devon, in October 2012.

During his detention Mr Orchard, who had paranoid schizophrenia, was restrained and an emergency response belt (ERB) was placed across his face.

The restraints were removed and the church caretaker was left in a locked cell, where he lay apparently motionless for 12 minutes before custody staff re-entered and started CPR.

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Claims that officers lied about Sean Rigg death in custody case are dropped

Sean Rigg
Sean Rigg

source: Wandsworth Guardian
published: 13 February 2019

Misconduct claims against three police officers accused of lying about the movements of a musician who died in custody have been thrown out.

Police constables Mark Harratt, Richard Glasson and Matthew Forward were accused of gross misconduct after allegedly giving false accounts that musician Sean Rigg had spun himself around in the back of a police van.

But the claims were dropped on Wednesday after their lawyers successfully argued that there was no evidence they had lied.

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