Google Maps
Favourite Share

Three police staff on trial accused of killing church caretaker

Tue 12 Jan 2016
By Premier Journalist

Three police workers are to stand trial accused of killing a church caretaker in Devon.

Thomas Orchard, who was a schizophrenic, collapsed while in custody at Exeter's main police station in October 2012.

Mr Orchard had been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and it's alleged he died in hospital seven days after being restrained.

He was a caretaker at St Thomas Church in Exeter and said to be a devout Christian.

A police custody sergeant and two detention officers are to go on trial at Bristol Crown Court (pictured), accused of two joint charges of manslaughter, which they all deny.

The first charge alleges that on October, 10, 2012, Sergeant Jan Kingshott, 44, and civilian staff Simon Tansley, 38, and Michael Marsden, 55, did an act or series of acts which unlawfully killed Mr Orchard.

The second charge alleges that, on the same day, the Devon and Cornwall officers unlawfully killed Mr Orchard by gross negligence.

The jury of seven men and five women were selected by ballot to hear the case, which is expected to last around five weeks.

The trial judge, Mr Justice King, told the panel: "Each of you have taken an oath and it is to try this case according to the evidence.

"The evidence is what you hear from the witnesses in the witness box and evidence that you can hear about in different forms - in written form or video form.

"When you go home this evening and during the course of the case, please do not discuss it with anybody.

"The temptation is going to be very great to family and friends - please resist that temptation.

"The evidence is what you hear in this court room, not anybody else. If you do see any media reports about this case, please ignore them.

"Please resist any temptation to make your own research in this case. You will be committing a criminal offence if you did that and you will be committing a contempt of court, and there have been jurors sent to prison for doing their own research.

"Only discuss this case when all 12 of you are together. Do not discuss the case in ones or twos.

"Finally, I am sure this won't happen, sometimes in the course of a case something happens that bothers you and concerns you.

"Don't keep it bottled up, write it down and tell the court usher and I will deal with it."

The judge told the jury that prosecutor Mark Heywood QC is due to begin his opening speech tomorrow morning.

comments powered by Disqus
Your News Feed

Stay informed and inform others with up to the minute news from a Christian perspective. 

Daily News email

RSS feeds

News Widgets

Daily news direct to your inbox
You may also like...

A detention officer accused of killing a paranoid schizophrenic... More

Video footage of a church caretaker being "unlawfully" restrained... More

A church caretaker died after he was "unlawfully" restrained... More

A police sergeant and two detention officers will face trial... More