Five police officers could be charged over man’s death

Ryecroft, Haywards Heath, scene of police incident. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140730-100757001
Ryecroft, Haywards Heath, scene of police incident. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140730-100757001

Prosecutors have been asked to consider bringing charges against five police officers, following the death of Duncan Tomlin in Haywards Heath.

Duncan Tomlin, 32, died after being arrested in Ryecroft, Haywards Heath, in July 2014.

He was a Burgess Hill resident, formerly of Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

Five police officers were later investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The IPCC has now made a referral to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider charges over the officers’ actions.

A statement from the IPCC today said: “The five officers, a sergeant and four constables, attended an incident in Ryecroft in Haywards Heath following a call from a member of the public. Two officers 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, formerly of Woodstock, Oxfordshire, was removed from the van on South Road in Haywards Heath just after midnight 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.

“As well as a referral to the CPS over possible criminal charges, the IPCC report identifies there may be a case to answer for gross misconduct against the five officers.

“A referral to the CPS is made when the IPCC investigation indicates that a criminal offence may have been committed. It does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow.

“The CPS will decide whether charges should be brought, based on the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.”

IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor said: “My thoughts are with Duncan’s family and friends at this time. We have today made a referral to the CPS to consider charges against five officers.

“We will now await a CPS decision on the matter and will in the meantime engage in discussions with Sussex Police about the gross misconduct recommendations.”

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