Solihull man died after restraint by security guards - The Solihull Observer

Solihull man died after restraint by security guards

Solihull Editorial 5th Jun, 2018 Updated: 5th Jun, 2018   0

A HOCKLEY Heath man died following “inappropriate” restraint by security guards at an industrial estate, an inquest has concluded.

Mark Kentish was held on the ground for almost 20 minutes by guards at a Gloucestershire business park where he was said to have been trying to tear down the fence around a three-million volt eletricity sub-station until police arrested him.

A jury at Gloucestershire Coroner’s Court said a “failure of care” led to his death in June 2016.

His death was found to have been caused by a combination of factors including his obesity, existing coronary disease, drugs and alcohol – but principally the stress of his struggle with the guards.

In an narrative conclusion, jurors said the restraint used by the two park staff at Stowfield Business Park in Lower Lydbrook, was “inappropriate in both method and duration”.

Mr Kentish, 55, had driven to the Wye Valley to visit his disabled father in English Bicknor.

He was referred to during the hearing as a “gentle giant” and an extrovert, larger than life, and a childlike character.

After the visit he drank heavily before driving to the Stowfield Business Park where, according to the staff there, he was drunkenly trying to tear down the fence.

The jury heard that one of the guards who tackled him, Paul Whiteside, had been working at the estate for only three weeks,

In evidence Mr Whiteside said “You could hear the fence being rattled and profanities being shouted.

“He was shouting about a dog and saying he was going to kill us all.”

As police were dealing with Mr Kentish he became unwell and died at at 12:13am on June 23, despite efforts to resuscitate him.

In the conclusion the jury said: “The security guard had little understanding of the potential risks and consequences of restraint.

“There is evidence of a failure in both professional practice and conduct on the part of the security company and its employees.

“The medical cause of death was stress and struggle against restraint.

“Contributing factors were: coronary artery atheroma, large heart, mild emphysema, effect of obesity and the effect of alcohol and cocaine.”

After the inquest a statement on behalf of Mr Kentish’s partner Kerry Jay and family said: “After two years of anguish it is with huge relief and gratitude to this jury that the family and friends of Mark can finally see that the truth has come out, of how he met his death.

“Mark was our big, loveable, larger than life gentle giant.

“The jury have concluded, as we felt all along, that there was no need for the security guards to confront him that night, let alone put him on the road and restrain him in the way that the jury described was ‘inappropriate in both method and duration’.”

Gloucestershire’s assistant coroner Caroline Saunders said she would write to the Security Industry Authority to ask why there was no programme of refresher training or education for guards as to the risks of restraint and positional asphyxia.


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