A female staff member who has been left traumatised by the death of a teenager she was restraining has instructed compensation claim solicitors to seek damages on her behalf. Diana Smith worked at the Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre in Northamptonshire during 2004. During her period of work there, she was involved in restraining 15 year old Gareth Myatt who unfortunately died from asphyxia during the restraining procedure. Gareth’s death has been ruled as accidental but the technique the team used – the seated double embrace – has since been stopped from use. The technique involves two people forcing a person into a sitting position and pushing them forward while a third takes care of the head. Gareth was just 4 ft 10in and weighed 7 stone at the time. He desperately shouted out that he could not breathe but his complaints were not listened too. He died choking on his own vomit.
Ms Smith is seeking damages through a compensation claim solicitor for the psychological trauma she suffered being involved in the incident. Ms Smith was following the correct procedure which has since been changed. She says the Ministry of Justice is negligent in the case for not fully investigating the risks of the restraint technique. She had a previous claim for psychological damages refused by a judge last year but has taken her case against the Ministry of Justice to London’s Civil Appeal Court.