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Probe continues into death in police custody

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

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THE police watchdog is continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Thomas Orchard who died after being arrested and taken into police custody.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission launched an inquiry following the death of the 32-year-old, who was arrested following a disturbance in the city.

A spokesman for the commission said this week that the investigation was "ongoing".

There is no indication as to how long the inquiry will take, but the IPCC says it aims to complete all such investigations within six months.

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A memorial service was recently held in Mr Orchard's memory. More than 100 people packed St Thomas Church, in Cowick Street, where Mr Orchard was a valued server. His mother Alison told the Echo her son had suffered with mental health problems in the past but was a "gentle and loving" man.

Police arrested Mr Orchard on suspicion of a public order offence following an incident at the junction of the High Street and Paris Street on Wednesday, October 3.

He was taken to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital when officers became concerned that he was not responding to them while in his cell. He later died in hospital on Wednesday, October 10, and the IPCC said he suffered "serious head injuries".

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