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Nicholas Moss KC and Harriet Gilchrist were instructed as Counsel to the Inquest in a 7 week Inquest into the death of Thomas Orchard before the Senior Coroner for Exeter and Greater Devon Philip Spinney.
The inquest heard evidence from 87 witnesses including members of the public, police officers and staff, the mental health care team and experts and considered events between 28 September 2012 and 10 October 2012. The inquest involved consideration of a number of issues, including the cause of death, restraint and use of force including the use of an Emergency Response Belt during the restraint at the Custody Centre.
Having heard the evidence, the jury returned a detailed questionnaire and provided a narrative conclusion on their factual findings. On central issues the jury concluded:
The Interested Persons and representatives were as follows:
Family: Fiona Murphy KC and Alison Gerry
Police Force: Alison Hewitt (previously Jason Beer KC) and Amy Clarke
Detention Officers: Christopher Rees KC
Custody Sergeant: Ramin Pakrooh
Response Officers: Susannah Stevens and Thomas Coke-Smyth
Custody HCP: Barnabas Branston
NHS Trust: Luke Berry
Prior to the Inquest the Detention Officers and Custody Sergeant were acquitted of gross negligence manslaughter following criminal trial (2017) and the Police Force was prosecuted for and pleaded guilty on a basis to health and safety offences (2019).