Devon

Thomas Orchard death: Police custody staff 'lied' over 'dangers' he posed

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

Police staff facing charges of killing a man with mental health problems have been accused of lying about the dangers he posed.

Thomas Orchard, 32, who had schizophrenia, died in October 2012 after being arrested in Exeter.

The official record of the incident was falsified, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Civilian detention officer Simon Tansley claims to have been bitten by Mr Orchard but that "simply did not happen", said prosecutor Mark Heywood.

Image caption Sgt Jan Kingshott, and civilian detention officers Michael Marsden and Simon Tansley deny manslaughter

Simon Tansley, 38, and fellow civilian detention officer Michael Marsden, 55, along with custody sergeant Jan Kingshott, 44, deny manslaughter.

Mr Heywood played a video of Mr Orchard being taken into custody at Heavitree Road Police station.

Church caretaker Mr Orchard was handcuffed, held down and had an emergency response belt put across his face to restrain him, the court heard.

Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption The emergency response belt used by police to restrain Thomas Orchard

Mr Heywood described the treatment as "disproportionate, unreasonable and unlawful".

Mr Orchard, a church caretaker, suffered a cardiac arrest and died seven days later.

Mr Heywood added that the three defendants all played a part in the treatment of Mr Orchard.

The trial continues.

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