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

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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