Death of suspected shoplifter from heart attack after arrest at Sainsbury's in Spalding to be independently investigated

The death of a suspected shoplifter who died of a heart attack while being arrested by police officers is to be independently investigated.

Friday, 11th January 2019, 3:03 pm
Updated Friday, 11th January 2019, 4:08 pm

The unnamed 43-year-old man collapsed after being arrested by officers who had been called to Sainsbury’s in Spalding where security staff had restrained him on Tuesday afternoon.

Lincolnshire Police said that shortly afterwards the man became unwell and efforts were made to revive him outside the store.

He was taken by air ambulance to hospital but died that evening.

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Sainsbury's in Spalding
Sainsbury's in Spalding

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is now investigating the man’s death.

In a statement, an IOPC spokesman said: “We have begun an independent investigation into police contact with a man detained at a supermarket in Spalding who later died in hospital.

“Staff at the Sainsbury’s store in Spalding notified police that a man was being held there on suspicion of theft at about 1.45pm on Tuesday, January 8.

“We understand that when two police officers arrived, they arrested a 43-year-old man who was being restrained by staff at the store.

“It soon became apparent that the man was unwell and an ambulance was called while officers and staff commenced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

“The man was then taken by air ambulance to Lincoln County Hospital but sadly died there at around 9.45pm that evening.

“After being informed by Lincolnshire Police we sent investigators to the scene who carried out post-incident procedures to begin our enquiries.”

DCI Mark Kirwan from Lincolnshire Police said: “Police were called to the Sainsbury’s store in Spalding at around 1.45pm on Tuesday, January 8 upon a report of a man who had been detained on suspicion of theft from the store.

“Upon police arrival the male was arrested. However, it became apparent that the male was unwell. Officers and staff gave first aid to the man who was taken by air ambulance to Lincoln County Hospital. Unfortunately the man subsequently died at hospital.

“An investigation has been commenced into the circumstances of the death and enquiries are continuing. Additionally, the matter has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct who are conducting an independent investigation.”