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Sussex officers served misconduct notices over death

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has served five Sussex Police officers with gross misconduct notices as part of the investigation into events prior to the death of a man in Haywards Heath in July 2014.

The 32-year-old man has been named as Duncan Tomlin, a Burgess Hill resident, formerly of Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

Shortly before midnight on 26 July police attended Ryecroft in Haywards Heath following a call from a member of the public. They approached Mr Tomlin and during the course of their interaction with him, restrained him, and placed him in a police van with three officers where he became unresponsive.

Mr Tomlin was removed from the van on South Road in Haywards Heath at 00:10 on 27 July. He was not breathing, CPR was performed, and he was subsequently transferred by ambulance to a nearby hospital where he died on 29 July.

IPCC investigators have obtained statements from significant witnesses, obtained and viewed CCTV footage of the incident, and reviewed initial statements from officers involved which were made on the night of the incident.

The IPCC’s investigation is looking at potential gross misconduct matters and five officers, a police sergeant and four police constables, have been served with notices advising their conduct is subject to investigation. The officers will be interviewed in due course.

IPCC investigators are 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 provided by them. We are also examining the referral of the incident to the IPCC and whether there was a significant delay in the police contacting Mr Tomlin’s family.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "Due to an on-going 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."

32-year-old man dies in police custody

An investigation has been launched after a man from Haywards Heath was arrested where he became unwell and later died in hospital.

Police attended an incident on Saturday 26th July and restrained a 32-year-old man leaving the area by putting him into a police van - where he became unwell.

He was removed from the van just after midnight on Sunday morning and CPR was performed.

He was subsequently transferred by ambulance to a nearby hospital where he died earlier today.

A post-mortem has yet to be conducted and HM Coroner has been notified.

Following this incident a 32 year old man tragically lost his life and my thoughts are with his family and friends at this time. The IPCC will carry out a robust and thorough investigation into the circumstances and nature of his contact with the police, the events leading up to his becoming unwell and his hospitalisation.

"I would urge anyone with any information about this incident or anyone who witnessed any part of the police contact with the man to come forward to the IPCC as soon as possible.”

– PCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor

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Rare 'Dragon Leaf' plant blooms in Kew Gardens

The plant is a first for experts at the country estate in Kew's Botanic Gardens Credit: Kew Gardens

An extremely colourful plant that has flowered at Kew's Botanic Gardens is a first for experts.

Seeds of the rare plant were collected on a trip to Tasmania so the beautiful flower can be displayed at a Kent garden.

The plant is also known as the Pineapple Candleheath or Dragon Leaf Richea because of its blade shaped leaves and is so rare because it is hard to propagate in the UK.

Conservation Unit manager collecting seeds in Tasmania Credit: Kew Gardens

Jo Wenham, Plant Propagation and Conservation Unit manager at Wakehurst, said: "As far as our records show, the Richea dracophylla is a new species in cultivation for Kew and Wakehurst Place.

"Because the Richea has complex propagation needs, the success of the first germination and flowering at Wakehurst Place is something to celebrate and it is wonderful to see it flowering.”

Sussex firefighters tackle flames despite strike

Crews at a home with smoke issuing from the roof Credit: Eddie Howland

Firefighters in Sussex turned out to reports of fire in Haywards Heath last night despite the strike over pensions.

Appliances were called to a kitchen fire in Roundwood Lane and then immediately went to distinguish a roof fire in Haywards Heath.

Firefighters tackle flames inside a Sussex building Credit: Eddie Howland
West Sussex firefighters at the scene of a fire Credit: Eddie Howland
The firefighters fought flames in Haywards Heath to save people's homes from fire destruction Credit: Eddie Howland

Cyclist injured in collision

A cyclist has been injured after being involved in a collision with a car.

The incident happened today in London Road, Balcombe near the Cowdray Arms pub at around 3pm.

The cyclist, a man, thought to be in his 20s was taken by ambulance to St Georges Hospital in London with serious head injuries.

If you witnessed the collision and have not yet spoken to officers please call 101 quoting serial 929 of 6/7 or email collision.appeal@sussex.pnn.police.uk

Travel - trains: Sussex - Haywards Heath, First Capital Connect

Disruption on First Capital Connect between Luton and Sutton (Greater London), and between Bedford and Haywards Heath due to person hit by a train at St Pancras International.

Tickets being accepted on Underground, Southern and East Midlands trains services. All Thameslink lines are blocked. First Capital Connect do not have an estimate for normal service.

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