Three police staff cleared of killing man in their custody

Thomas Orchard died after being restrained at a police station in Exeter. Credit: Family

Three officers from Devon and Cornwall Police have been found not guilty of killing a man in their custody.

Thomas Orchard, 32, a paranoid schizophrenic, was arrested on suspicion of a public order offence on a street in Exeter in October 2012.

While being restrained at Heavitree Road Police Station Mr Orchard suffered brain damage and a cardiac arrest. He died a week later.

During a retrial at Bristol Crown Court, the jury heard how Mr Orchard was restrained by his hands and feet, and an emergency response belt placed over his face.

Michael Marsden, Simon Tansley and Jan Kingshott. Credit: PA

Custody sergeant Jan Kingshott and civilian detention officers Simon Tansley and Michael Marsden insisted their actions were proportionate and lawful. During the 6 week trial, the court heard how they were all involved in the restraining of Mr Orchard.

A jury at Bristol Crown Court found them not guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Mr Orchard died after being taken to Heavitree Road Police Station.

Mr. Orchard's parents, Ken and Alison, say they want their son's "needless" death to bring about change. They described the verdict as a "setback":

Watch the full interview with the Thomas Orchard's parents and sister below: