Police officers charged over death of mentally ill man in cell


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A police sergeant and two custody officers have been charged with killing a mentally ill man who collapsed inside a police station.

Thomas Orchard, who had a history of paranoid schizophrenia, died in hospital in October 2012, a week after a padded belt was used as a “spit hood” to stop him biting officers when he was picked up from the street after a deterioration in his mental health.

Mr Orchard, 32, a church caretaker, had been arrested for a suspected public order offence in Exeter and taken to the city’s Heavitree police station; his heart stopped beating after he had been restrained.

Prosecutors announced yesterday that Sergeant Jan Kingshott and two civilian custody detention workers, Simon Tansley and Michael Marsden, would face charges of manslaughter and misconduct in public office.