Officer could face charges over Thomas Orchard death

A Devon and Cornwall Police officer is facing possible criminal charges over the death of a man in police custody.

Thomas Orchard, 32, was arrested in Exeter in October, but died in hospital after being found "unresponsive" with head injuries in a custody cell.

The incident is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Six officers and custody staff are on restricted duties, despite the IPCC recommending they be suspended.

The IPCC said it had submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) with evidence relating specifically to one officer during Mr Orchard's arrest and the level of force used.

Mr Orchard was restrained and arrested in Exeter city centre on 3 October on suspicion of a public order offence.

IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said in a statement: "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."

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