Police investigating St Leonards Sainsbury’s death were responding to ‘suspected shoplifting’

A 40-year-old man died outside Sainsbury's supermarket, in John Macadam Way, St Leonards. Picture: Google
A 40-year-old man died outside Sainsbury's supermarket, in John Macadam Way, St Leonards. Picture: Google

Officers investigating the death of a 40-year-old man outside Sainsbury’s supermarket in St Leonards were responding to reports of a shoplifting offence, police have confirmed.

Police said they were called to the store, in John Macadam Way, off Sedlescombe Road North, at 9.45pm on Tuesday (July 2).

On Friday (July 5), a police spokesman said the death followed reports of a suspected shoplifting offence and confirmed officers were responding to that report.

Despite attempts by police and paramedics to resuscitate the man, aged 40, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three men, aged 28, 24 and 53, who were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter have now been released under investigation, police said.

Detective Chief Inspector Alex Geldart from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team said: “This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends at this time.

“We would like to hear from anyone who was in the store or just outside the entrance on Tuesday evening at about 9.30pm who may have witnessed something which could help with our investigation.”

Witnesses to what happened, and anyone with relevant mobile phone footage of the incident, are asked to contact police online or phone 101, quoting Operation Millbank.

Police said the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is carrying out an independent investigation into the death after a mandatory referral was made by Sussex Police Professional Standards Department due to attendance of police to the incident.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “We are helping the police with their enquiries. Our thoughts are with the person’s family.”

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