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Victor Massey

Inappropriate police restraint led to death

all credits: BBC News
published: published: 9 June 2011

Any news updates on this case will be listed at the foot of this item

Police had no strategy for dealing with a violent patient who died after being restrained, an inquest has decided.

Victor Massey, 54, died at King’s Mill Hospital, Nottinghamshire, in August 2006 while being treated with powerful painkillers for pancreatitis. The jury heard he locked himself in a shower room and threatened police.

In a narrative verdict, the jury also said use of CS spray was inappropriate and restraint methods would have affected his ability to breathe.

The inquest in Nottingham heard Mr Massey, from Westwood in Nottinghamshire, was suffering from severe pain and had been given morphine and Tramadol.

Cardiac arrest

Giving evidence, night nurse Ianthe Manning said Mr Massey “was the most violent patient I have seen”.

A security supervisor said CS gas was used on Mr Massey after he tried to stab a Pc through the shower room door with a piece of glass. He was then pinned to the floor and handcuffed.

A pathologist concluded Mr Massey died from cardiac arrest following restraint in combination with pancreatitis and the drug Tramadol. The jury was asked to consider 24 points in connection with the death.

CPS decision

In response they said there was not enough communication between hospital staff and police about how to deal with the situation and no-one took overall control.

They added that no strategy was formed by officers before they went in. The jury also highlighted a lack of training for both police and hospital staff. The CPS, which in 2008 and after studying an IPCC report decided not to seek prosecutions against any officers involved, said they would examine the inquest findings to see if a review of the earlier decision was needed.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Broadbent said: “As is often the case when police are faced with volatile and dynamic circumstances, split-second decisions need to be made, and the tactics deemed most suitable applied. In this case an officer chose to use CS spray.

“We will now consider the IPCC’s recommendations in the light of the jury’s findings to identify any additional areas for learning and development.” Carolyn White, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive, said: “The trust’s own internal investigations, carried out at the time, identified a number of areas where improvements could be made.

“Those recommendations have been fully implemented and we continue to monitor carefully the risks posed to our patients and staff as a result of violence and aggression, including where patients are ill and confused.”

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Follow-up News:

IPCC issues findings from investigation into death of Victor Massey
9 June 2011

Police criticised for patient death
9 June 2011

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