INQUEST press release regarding a case being conducted by Hickman and Rose and counsel from Doughty Street Chambers
Three Sussex Police officers to face gross misconduct action following the death of Duncan Tomlin
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) have announced that four Sussex Police officers will be facing disciplinary action in connection with their interactions with Duncan Tomlin, who died on 29 July 2014 in Haywards Heath. He became unresponsive after being restrained by police and placed into a police van.
Sussex Police determined that three officers have a case to answer for gross misconduct following receipt of the IOPC’s report, while another officer has a case to answer for misconduct. A fifth officer left the force earlier this year and is therefore unable to face any further action
Last week the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced their decision that criminal charges will not be brought against any of the Sussex police officers involved in the events surrounding Duncan Tomlin’s death, following a Victims Right to Review requested by Duncan’s family and his partner.
Paul Tomlin, the father of Duncan Tomlin said: “In my opinion criminal charges should have been brought against the officers. However, I welcome the fact that Sussex Police have decided that three officers should face gross misconduct proceedings in connection with their interactions with Duncan. I hope that these proceedings will be prosecuted robustly by Sussex Police, and that the officers are held fully accountable for their actions.”
Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST said: “Police officers are public servants and must not be above the law. It is crucial that Police are subjected to the most intense scrutiny when someone dies after the use of force. These proceedings must be effective, open and transparent.”
Helen Stone of Hickman and Rose solicitors, representing Paul Tomlin said: “I am pleased Sussex Police recognise that these three officers have a case to answer for gross misconduct. This contrasts with other forces who will often fight tooth and nail to avoid bringing disciplinary proceedings against their own officers. However, this is just the first stage in proceedings. To maintain the confidence of both Mr Tomlin’s family and the wider public, Sussex Police must ensure that the case against these officers is scrupulously prepared and fairly prosecuted and that they are held to proper account for their involvement in Duncan’s death.”