Inquest delivers verdict on Oxford robber death

The inquest into the death of a robber from Oxford has delivered a verdict of death by misadventure.

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Have-a-go heroes restrained robber who died

Have-a-go heroes acted lawfully and with reasonable force when they restrained an armed raider who died following a botched jewellery shop heist.

Robber Clint Townsend died when the shop's owner, manager and members of the public piled on top of him "in a big heap" to stop him running away.

The 33-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest and stopped breathing after he tried to smash a display window outside the store and was bundled to the ground.

Clint Townsend died after he was held back at Oxford Covered Market Credit: ITV Meridian

Townsend, of Barton Road, Headington, Oxford, was found to have been left brain dead by oxygen starvation to the brain and was pronounced dead at 1.15pm the next day.

Witnesses described nearly eight men restraining the would-be thief on the floor for three to four minutes before police arrived at Oxford's Covered Market.

Officers started resuscitation attempts after realising Townsend was unconscious and not breathing. He was left in a coma and died in hospital the next day.

The three-day inquest in Oxford heard heavy-set Townsend had an underlying heart condition which had been undiagnosed before his death.

I am not satisfied to the required standard of proof that any of those men acted unreasonably and unlawfully...There has been a deliberate act but the consequences and the fatal outcome was not intended by those people.

I don't think there was any idea from anybody involved of what was going to happen because of his heart condition. He succumbed and gave up the struggle much more quickly than anybody realised because his heart was failing.

– Alison Thompson, assistant coroner for Oxfordshire


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