A watchdog is investigating claims that Avon and Somerset police officers lied during an inquest into the death of a mentally ill man.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has served five Avon and Somerset staff - including three serving police officers - with notices of gross misconduct over the death of 25-year-old James Herbert.
The former public schoolboy died from a cardiac arrest in June 2010 after being detained under the Mental Health Act by officers from Avon and Somerset Police.
An inquest last year heard that Mr Herbert, who had taken drugs, was restrained before being left naked in a police cell at Yeovil police station.
Mr Herbert, a data recovery engineer, was later found to be unresponsive and was taken to Yeovil District Hospital by ambulance where he was declared dead.
An inquest jury returned a narrative conclusion that Mr Herbert, who lived in Wells, died from "cardio-respiratory arrest in a man intoxicated by synthetic cathinones causing acute disturbance following restraint and struggle against restraint".
The jury also highlighted factors that may have contributed to Mr Herbert's death, such as the lack of communication between police officers about Mr Herbert's mental health, drug use and previous incidents; the failure to call for medical assistance while he was being taken to the police station and the need for closer monitoring of him during that journey.
The police watchdog said it was looking at "whether the police at any stage colluded to give false accounts and/or lied during their evidence at the inquest".
A spokeswoman said: "Following the inquest into the death of James Herbert, Avon and Somerset Police received a letter from Mr Herbert's family detailing a number of complaints including concerns that officers colluded or lied during their evidence, and about the conduct of the force during the inquest proceedings.
"These complaints were referred to the IPCC which decided to carry out an independent investigation.
"The IPCC has looked at the evidence provided to the IPCC as part of the original investigation into Mr Herbert's death.
"A number of areas relating to the treatment of Mr Herbert on June 10 are now being investigated further.
"As well as investigating whether the police at any stage colluded to give false accounts and/or lied during their evidence at the inquest, the IPCC is examining the actions and decisions of police officers or staff who had any involvement with James on the day of his death."
Three police officers, one former police officer and one member of police staff have been served with gross misconduct notices advising them that their conduct is subject to investigation.
"The notices relate to the investigation into the circumstances of Mr Herbert's death. Such notices are not judgemental in any way," the spokeswoman added.
Preparations are underway for the Moat Boat Race in Wells. Teams from local groups, businesses and pubs will race each other around the Bishops Palace in home-made rafts and fancy dress. This is the thirteenth year of the event and the fun starts at 11am.
A west country MP is asking people to send a message to Israel by boycotting goods coming from the country. The MP for Wells, Tessa Munt says she's hearing from people across the area that are angry and upset about what is happening abroad.
"This summer, it’s not the potholes, traffic lights or broadband, not even poor local planning which is dominating discussions – although they are all high on the list and must be dealt with.
This summer, the majority of people I meet out and about are disturbed, upset and angry.
It’s clear that Israel has crossed a line.
The use of a boycotts is one example of non-violent action and whilst a protest march is effective in
raising awareness and publicity, a boycott hits states and organisations where it hurts most – the wallet.
Israel exports all sorts all sorts of things from food to financial services into the UK and we all have a choice about how we spend our money."
An exhibition to mark the start of the Centenary of the First World War is being opened at the Wells and Mendip Museum today. "Wells Remembers" will be made up of city archives, weapons, uniforms and artefacts that have been lent to the project. Visitors will also get to experience the sights and sounds of the trenches and discover the stories of individuals from Wells and the surrounding villages.
A second exhibition will take place at the Wells Town Hall.
“We are very excited to be opening this exhibition, which has been created by volunteers and a genuine community partnership. The stories being told are fascinating, engaging and moving – and more stories are emerging each week from the research being carried out and through members of the community coming forward with letters and memories. We want people to get involved – not just by visiting the exhibition but by attending events and sharing their families’ experiences.”
A Somerset MP has criticised the county council after reports that it pays senior staff the highest salaries in the country.
Tessa Munt, MP for Wells, says she's appalled that the head of Children's services gets £318,000 - more than twice the Prime Minister.
The widow of a man who campaigned for the right to assisted dying has welcomed a change of heart by the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey.
Jane Nicklinson from Melksham, who's husband Tony was paralysed, says she's delighted the former Bishop of Bath and Wells has changed his mind, and believes others in the church will now speak out in support of assisted dying.
David Woodland reports:
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has said he changed his views on assisted dying after being inspired by the case of a locked-in syndrome sufferer from Wiltshire.
Tony Nicklinson from Melksham battled for seven years to have the right to end his own life but it was refused and he died naturally aged 58 in 2012.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Lord Carey said: "It was the case of Tony Nicklinson that exerted the deepest influence on me,"
"Here was a dignified man making a simple appeal for mercy, begging that the law allow him to die in peace, supported by his family.
"His distress made me question my motives in previous debates. Had I been putting doctrine before compassion, dogma before human dignity?"
A former Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of Bath and Wells has broken free with the Church of England's stance on assisted dying and said it would not be 'anti-Christian' to legalise it.
Writing in the Daily Mail, George Carey said he would be backing legislation tabled by Lord Falconer which proposes allowing doctors to prescribe a lethal dose to terminally ill patients with less than six months to live.
He warned that by opposing reform the Church risked 'promoting anguish and pain.'
It marks an extraordinary U-turn by the 78-year-old cleric, who was Bishop of Bath and Wells between 1988 and 1991, before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury.
The widow of locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson, who tirelessly campaigned to have the right to end his life, has said he would be 'really pleased' the former Archbishop of Canterbury's is backing laws to legalise assisted dying.
Jane Nickinson lost Tony two years ago but said she was 'amazed and thrilled' at Lord Carey's U-turn on the issue.
She told BBC 5 live's Stephen Nolan: "This is huge because the Church has always been one of our greatest opponents.
"I think Tony moved a lot of people but to hear he moved someone in such a prominent position - someone who is willing to come out and openly support our position - I'm just over the moon about it.
"I'm really pleased and I know Tony would be as well."
Mrs Nicklinson and paralysed former builder Paul Lamb lost a right-to-die fight in the UK's highest court last month, but said they were hopeful that change would come.
Slow traffic and road blocked due to accident, three vehicles involved on A39 Bristol Road near Haydon Drove. Police are on the scene.