‘No prosecution’ for officers following Haywards Heath death

Five officers under investigation following the death of a man in Haywards Heath will not face prosecution.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has concluded the officers will not face criminal prosecution following the death of Duncan Tomlin.

Mr Tomlin died after being arrested at an address in Ryecroft, Haywards Heath, in July 2014.

Shortly after the Burgess Hill resident’s death the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) served the officers, a police sergeant and four police constables, with gross misconduct notices and opened an investigation.

In the IPCC’s initial report it said Mr Tomlin was placed in the back of the police van where he became unresponsive.

He was removed from the van on South Road in Haywards Heath and was not breathing. CPR was performed before he was transferred by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

He died two days later, the IPCC said.

The CPS said it had reviewed the evidence against the officers.

A spokesman said: “Following a referral to us by the Independent Police Complaints Commission in April 2016, the CPS reviewed the available evidence against five officers from Sussex Police. We have concluded the case does not meet the evidential test, as set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors, and have informed the family of Duncan Tomlin of our decision not to charge the officers. We will be setting out our reasoning in detail to the family in the new year and offering them a meeting.”

In a statement released by the Sussex Police Federation, which represents officers in Sussex, it said: “Sussex Police Federation are pleased to report that the Crown Prosecution Service has concluded that five Sussex Police officers will not face criminal prosecution following the tragic death of Duncan Tomlin in 2014.

“Given their propensity for updating the media regarding the progress of this investigation, we are somewhat surprised that a press release from the IPCC has not been forthcoming following the CPS decision.”

Sussex Police said it was aware of the CPS’s decision and was awaiting a response from IPCC.

A spokesman for the IPCC said: “The IPCC is aware of the CPS decision not to bring charges against five Sussex Police officers referred following an investigation into the events prior to the death of Duncan Tomlin in July 2014. We now await the full decision rationale from the CPS.”

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