Officers face criminal probe over Duncan Tomlin's death

The conduct of five Sussex Police officers in the lead up to the death of a man who had been restrained is now under criminal investigation.

Duncan Tomlin, 32, from Burgess Hill, was detained on 26 July and put in a police van in Ryecroft, Haywards Heath.

After becoming unwell, he was taken out of the van and given CPR. He was taken to hospital where he later died.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will interview the officers under caution in the new year.

The police sergeant and four PCs were served with gross misconduct notices in October.

'Thoughts with family'

An IPCC spokesman said investigators were examining the actions of officers, including the restraint used on Mr Tomlin in the street and in the rear of the police van, and the medical treatment he received.

He added: "Neither notification of a criminal investigation nor notices being served on officers carry an assumption of guilt.

"It simply informs the officer that they are under formal investigation and the level of severity."

A spokeswoman for Sussex Police said: "Due to an ongoing Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation, we are unable to comment on the specifics of the incident in Haywards Heath on July 26.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with the man's family and friends, and we are working closely with the IPCC in support of their investigation."

'Family devastated'

Paul Tomlin, Mr Tomlin's father, said the family welcomed the IPCC decision, but urged Sussex Police to review the status of the officers and, "in the public interest", suspend them from duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

"It is almost five months since Duncan died and our family are still devastated and unable to come to terms with the loss.

"We need answers to the events surrounding his death. We hope this development will assist with achieving that."

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