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Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

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CPS authorises prosecution of Kent police officers for misconduct in public office following death in custody

06/09/2012

Mr Colin Holt died from positional asphyxia at his home in Gillingham, Kent, on 30 August 2010, while under police restraint.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has investigated the incident and has asked the Crown Prosecution Service whether any criminal charges should be brought against the officers from Kent Police responsible for his restraint.

The case was reviewed under the Code for Crown Prosecutors which has two stages: firstly, whether there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and, secondly, whether a prosecution is required in the public interest.

Rene Barclay, Principal Crown Advocate with the Special Crime team said: "I have advised the IPCC to obtain summonses for PC Maurice Leigh and PC Neil Bowdery. Both officers will face a single count of misconduct in public office, contrary to the common law.

"It is alleged that on 30 August 2010, whilst acting as a police officer, namely as a police constable, PC Leigh and PC Bowdery misconducted themselves in that, without lawful justification or excuse, they wilfully neglected to take reasonable and proper care of Colin Holt, a person in police detention.

"On the evidence I have reviewed, I am satisfied that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and that the public interest requires a prosecution.

"PC Leigh and PC Bowdery will now be summonsed on a criminal offence and have the right to a fair trial. As proceedings are now active, it is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice this trial."

Both officers will appear at Medway Magistrates' Court on 8 October 2012.

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