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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 April, 2004, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Woman, 74, dies in police custody
Albion Court
Mrs Reid died after being arrested at Albion Court flats
A 74-year-old woman collapsed and died after being arrested at sheltered accommodation in Cornwall.

Joyce Reid was arrested at Albion Court in Torpoint in the early hours of Friday for a minor offence and taken to Charles Cross police station, Plymouth.

At about 0540 BST she collapsed and, despite efforts to resuscitate her, she died at Derriford Hospital at 2315 BST.

Devon and Cornwall Police has asked the Independent Police Complaint Commission (IPCC) to conduct an inquiry.

Death circumstances

The coroner has been informed and a post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death as related to a history of heart disease.

Neighbour Alan Deakin, who lives at the Caradon District Council-run flats, said of the night Mrs Reid was arrested: "I heard crashing noises and thought it was someone breaking in.

"I couldn't see anybody and then suddenly I saw this bottle flashing past the window, and then I saw other things being discharged out of the window, including a clock and more bottles. I then called the warden."

Mrs Reid's friend, Gladys Spurrell, said: "She was normally very pleasant. She was cheerful, bright and you couldn't fault her at all."

Devon and Cornwall Police made no comment about the incident and referred all questions to the IPCC.

IPCC Commissioner Ian Bynoe said: ''My deepest sympathy goes to this lady's family and friends.

"A death in these circumstances is always concerning and I will ensure that a thorough investigation will take place.

"I have arranged to visit Plymouth and will visit the scene, discuss plans for the inquiry and meet with the family."

The BBC's Simon Hall
"An ambulance was called and first aid given."

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