Inquest shown footage of police restraining Gosport man after drug-fuelled incident at store

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DRAMATIC CCTV footage shown at an inquest revealed the moment two off duty soldiers tackled a man who had rushed into a convenience store, throwing bottles down the aisles.

At the second day of the inquest into Matthew Lynn’s death jurors also watched police body-worn camera footage of the 27-year-old being restrained by officers while waiting to be taken to hospital.

Portsmouth Coroner’s Court previously heard Mr Lynn had entered McColls on Forton Road, Gosport, on February 2 last year after being on a cocaine binge in the previous days.

Footage played during yesterday’s hearing showed an agitated Mr Lynn running up and down the aisles, throwing bottles of alcohol and beer.

CCTV from the shop showed two men, Lewis Bird and James O’Brien, enter the store just after Mr Lynn smashed through the perspex door leading to behind the till.

Mr Bird told the inquest: ‘When we turned up at McColls, there were a few people waiting outside. They said a crazy person was in the shop.

‘Watching through the door I saw the man (Mr Lynn) run at the perspex door and he fell through it.’

Earlier evidence heard McColls supervisor Alison O’Gorman was behind the till when Mr Lynn went through the perspex.

Mr Bird went into the store first and used his body weight to push Mr Lynn to the floor. Along with Mr O’Brien they restrained his arms until police arrived.

Mr Bird said: ‘He was struggling saying people were after him. I stroked his head to try and reassure him. He was breathing and was conscious but his behaviour kept changing from calm to struggling.’

Footage from a police body-worn camera showed officers lying Mr Lynn on his side after handcuffing him, restraining his torso and legs.

Mr Lynn is seen to be struggling and occasionally spitting blood.

His family questioned police during the hearing about their restraint and if they thought Mr Lynn’s breathing was being restricted.

Detective Constable Paul Rogers, who was first on the scene, said: ‘It was for my safety, the safety of Matthew and of others that he required restraining with the handcuffs.

‘We decided to put him on the floor and we wanted him on his right side, rather than on his front because we didn’t want him to suffocate. That’s what we are trained to do. During this time he was breathing and was conscious. He was also muttering.’

He was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital where he suffered major organ failure. He was put into an induced coma but the life support machine was switched off on February 17 as he did not improve.

Pathologist Dr Amanda Jeffrey concluded Mr Lynn, of Lees Lane, died from multiple organ failure which was caused by acute behavioural disturbance associated with cocaine use.

The hearing heard telephone recordings from Mr Lynn’s housemate who phoned for an ambulance at 6.56pm fearing for Mr Lynn’s health.

Telephone recordings revealed after arriving, the crew from South Central Ambulance Service (Scas) requested police assistance due to Mr Lynn being aggressive but were told no units were available.

Scas called police back at 7.24pm and said: ‘Our crew seemed quite scared’, but again, they were told no police units were available.

At 9.40pm Scas phoned back and said both Mr Lynn and his housemate were being aggressive and the three ambulance crew had ‘locked themselves in the ambulance’.

Mr Lynn had left the house and ran to the McColls store before officers could attend.