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Police custody death man understood to be Lee Sparks from the Bury St Edmunds area

PUBLISHED: 14:49 26 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:49 26 January 2016

Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre

Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre

An independent police complaints inquiry into the death of a man in police custody in Bury St Edmunds is likely to take several months.

Although Suffolk Constabulary and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) have not released the identity of the deceased he is understood to be Lee Sparks.

The 29-year-old who comes from the Bury St Edmunds area but had also lived in Red Lodge, near Mildenhall, died on Christmas Eve,.

He had been arrested after police were called to Tesco in Fordham Road, Newmarket, following reports of a theft having taken place at the store at around 6pm on December 24.

Officers attended and detained Mr Sparks on suspicion of theft and took him into custody at Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre at around 6.20pm.

A short time later concerns were raised for his well-being after he became unwell. He was then taken to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

Mr Sparks was pronounced dead on Christmas Eve at around 11pm after arriving at the hospital at 7.20pm.

IPCC investigators became involved following a mandatory referral by Suffolk Constabulary.

The IPCC has been looking at CCTV evidence as part of its inquiry and has said it would like to speak to anyone who had contact with Mr Sparks before the incident at Tesco or who may have witnessed it.

A spokesman for the IPCC said the investigation into the tragedy was in its early stages and was likely to take several months before reaching its conclusion.

Mr Sparks’ family have declined to comment.

Anyone with information is asked to telephone the IPCC via Suffolk Police on 101, quoting CAD number 309 of December 24.

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The Orwell Bridge has reopened this morning after 80mph winds battered Suffolk and brought its closure.

Several schools in Suffolk are to remain closed or open later this morning amid high winds.

Across Suffolk, dozens of bands, singers, solo acts, choirs and orchestras ply their trade on evenings and weekends as part of the county’s eclectic night time economy.

High winds have led to rail service cancellations including on the mainline from Suffolk and Essex to London and local routes between Sudbury and Marks Tey.

High winds have brought down overhead power cables leaving homes in many Suffolk and Essex communities without electricity.

A well known west Suffolk pub has suddenly closed its doors after the district council received a licence review application from police, stating the premises was ‘associated with serious crimes and disorder’.

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