Police face a possible charge over man's death
Criminal charges are being considered against a Devon and Cornwall Police officer after a 32-year-old church caretaker died in police custody.
Thomas Orchard, who worked at St Thomas Church in Exeter, was arrested on October 3 last year on suspicion of a public order offence.
While in a police cell, he became unresponsive and was rushed to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. He died in hospital a week later.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which is investigating his death, confirmed he had suffered "serious head injuries".
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In a statement, the commission said it had now "submitted a file of evidence" to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). It said the file "relates specifically to one officer during Mr Orchard's arrest and the level of force used".
Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: "This is a criminal investigation and we have, at an early stage, submitted a file of evidence to the CPS. Our investigation continues and may lead to further evidence being passed to prosecutors.
"The IPCC has been informed by Devon and Cornwall Constabulary that it has made a decision to place six members of its officers and members of custody staff on restricted duties. While this is a decision for the force to make as the employer, the IPCC made representations that they be suspended pending the consideration of criminal charges."
The IPCC said the file related to a male police constable. Those on restricted duties, which usually involves being removed from contact with the public, include two civilian detention officers, a custody sergeant and three constables.
More than 100 mourners turned out to remember Mr Orchard at a memorial service shortly after his death. His mother Alison said he had suffered with mental health problems in the past but was a "gentle and loving" man.
Devon and Cornwall Police said it was unable to comment because of the ongoing inquiry.
The IPCC has also launched an independent investigation into the force's contact with Keith Dance, who was found dead at his flat in Molesworth Road, Plymouth, on March 12. Jacqueline Cooke, 29, and Ian Gollop, 50, have been charged with his murder.