Devon

Thomas Orchard custody-death accused officers in court

Thomas Orchard Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Thomas Orchard died seven days after being arrested in Exeter

A police sergeant and two detention officers accused of killing a man in custody have appeared in court.

Sergeant Jan Kingshott, 43, and civilians Simon Tansley, 37, and Michael Marsden, 54, are charged with the manslaughter of Thomas Orchard, 32.

Mr Orchard died in hospital after collapsing in a police cell, following his arrest in Exeter, Devon, in 2012.

No pleas were entered at Bristol Crown Court, but a provisional trial date has been set for next January.

Mr Orchard, a caretaker at St Thomas Church in Exeter, was arrested on 3 October 2012 on suspicion of a public order offence and taken to Heavitree Road police station.

He collapsed in a cell about an hour after he arrived and was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, where he died seven days later.

Image caption Thomas Orchard collapsed in a cell at Heavitree Road Police Station

As well as manslaughter, all three men, who work with Devon and Cornwall Police, face another charge of unlawfully killing Mr Orchard by gross negligence.

They are also accused of misconduct in a public office.

The judge ruled the defendants' addresses should not be published, following an application by their defence barristers.

The three remain on unconditional bail and are due back in court on 5 June for a plea and case management hearing.

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