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Investigation underway after woman dies in police custody in Plymouth

Investigation underway after woman dies in police custody in Plymouth

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 12:33pm 13th July 2020.

An investigation is underway into the contact police had with woman who died at hospital in Plymouth.

36-year-old Anastasia Theofilou became unwell in a cell at Charles Cross custody suite on Friday 3rd July at around 4.30pm.

CPR was administered by custody staff and a healthcare practitioner and she was taken to hospital, where she sadly died on Saturday 4th July.

Ms Theofilou had been arrested at an address in Weston Mill Road and taken into custody at around 2pm on 3rd July. 

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is now investigating what happened, following a mandatory referral from Devon and Cornwall Police. 

“My thoughts are with Ms Theofilou’s family and friends following her death.                                                                                                             

“Our investigators have begun gathering evidence and statements from officers.

"We will be looking at the level of care provided during the period of detention, including the thoroughness of searches and checks carried out while Ms Theofilou was in custody.”

Regional Director, Catrin Evans

The coroner has been informed and a post-mortem examination has been conducted, which did not identify a cause of death.

Investigators say they are now awaiting the toxicology report and further tests will be carried out. 

When someone dies following police contact or in police custody, the force involved must refer the matter to the IOPC to assess whether they should investigate what has happened.

The IOPC's role is to seek answers about what happened and to share any learning identified by the investigations.

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