A POLICE sergeant and two detention officers accused of killing a church caretaker who died after being restrained in custody in a Devon police station are to go on trial next year.

Thirty-two-year-old paranoid schizophrenic Thomas Orchard died in hospital seven days after being arrested and taken to Heavitree Road Police Station in Exeter in October 2012.

Custody Sergeant Jan Kingshott (44), and civilians Simon Tansley (38), and Michael Marsden (55), each deny two charges of manslaughter.

The trial was set for next January during a directions hearing at Bristol Crown Court.

It will take place in front of a High Court judge and it is estimated it will last for eight weeks.