Devon and Cornwall Police Headquarters
Middlemoor, Exeter, EX2 7HQ
3pm 12 July 2019
* This meeting is open to the public. Those who wish to attend must register online before 12 noon tomorrow.
The outcome of the preliminary misconduct hearing, relating to the circumstances surrounding the arrest, detention and subsequent death of Thomas Orchard, will be heard tomorrow (Friday 12 July). The decision and rationale will be read by the Chair of the misconduct panel, Assistant Chief Constable Snuggs of Hampshire Constabulary, at Devon and Cornwall Police Headquarters at 3pm.
The preliminary misconduct hearing was heard in private between the 24 June and 28 June 2019. The publication of the decision and rationale will be available to view on the Devon and Cornwall Police website.
Thomas was a fit and physically healthy 32 year old church caretaker, living independently in supported accommodation at the time of his death. He had a history of mental illness and a diagnosis of schizophrenia. On 3 October 2012 he was arrested and detained by Devon and Cornwall officers in Exeter City Centre following reports of his bizarre and disorientated behaviour.
He was transported by police van to Heavitree Road Police Station. Upon arrival, in addition to the triple limb restraints applied, an Emergency Response Belt (ERB), made from a tough impermeable webbing fabric, was put around his face. The ERB remained held around his face as he was carried face down to a cell where he was left lying unresponsive on a cell floor. By the time officers re-entered his cell, Thomas was in cardiac arrest. He was transferred to hospital and pronounced dead on 10 October 2012.


For further information, interview requests and to note your interest, please contact Lucy McKay and Sarah Uncles on 020 7263 1111 or [email protected] [email protected]
INQUEST has been working with the family of Thomas Orchard since his death. The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group member Helen Stone of Hickman and Rose solicitors.
Notice of the hearing is available on Devon and Cornwall Police’s website.
Those attending must enter via the entrance on Exeter Road to get to the main HQ reception.