'We should be able to visit him in jail not a cemetery,' Shane Bryant's family say

'I should've been able to visit him in a jail, not a cemetery', Shane Bryant's brother tells ITV News

The family of Shane Bryant, the armed robber who died after being restrained for over 17 minutes, have said he should have ended up behind bars, not a coffin.

His brother, Dean, told ITV News Central: "We fully accept Shane was doing something wrong, and yes he should've been punished, he should've got locked up for however amount of time.

"But I should've been able to visit him in jail, not a cemetery."

Shane Bryant, from Birmingham, was taken ill at the scene of a supermarket raid in Ashby-de-la-Zouch on July 13 2017 and was pronounced dead two days later.

The 29-year-old was armed with a baseball bat as he tried to rob the Co-op store in the Leicestershire town.

Shane Bryant Credit: Facebook

The inquest heard how a group of drinkers from a nearby pub confronted Bryant and wrestled him to the ground.

Among them was an off-duty police officer and a retired officer from the West Midlands, who held him in a headlock.

The jury was told Bryant put up a violent struggle and was pinned down for 17 minutes.

But when police and paramedics arrived they found him unresponsive. He died two days later of heart failure, caused by not being able to breathe, the inquest heard.

Throughout this inquest, the issue of race has also been at the forefront.

Campaigners have also pointed to other similar cases where black men have died after being restrained by police.

'People need to acknowledge the facts of what happens when people are held...to have such a disregard for a life just because it's a black life', Shane's brother says

Dean said: "We feel that there is a lot of this going on and it's getting covered up or maybe not getting treated with the magnitude that there is.

"The awareness is there already but people need to acknowledge the facts of what happens when people are held, in these situations and stuff, to have such a disregard for a life just because it's a black life, it doesn't matter.

"Well it matters to us, it matters to us."

Shane's brothers, Dean and Ricky, attended every day of the inquest.

Unusually, only three members of the family were able to watch proceedings and the entire hearing was screened off from the public.

Shane Bryant's brothers Dean and Ricky Credit: ITV Central

The coroner had ruled the measures were necessary to protect witnesses while still upholding the principles of open justice.

Bryant's family have criticised the proceedings for its approach during the inquest.

Dean said: "I think it's disgusting that they've been given the opportunity to hide away behind the fence line that the media hasn't been able to see.

"I've got lots of people, family members - who would have wanted to come up to the case and hearing but they've had to stay in - even my own son, he's had to be behind the fence."

Shane Bryant's mum, who died last year, desperately wanted answers Credit: Family handout

One member of Bryant's family who desperately wanted answers but never got them was his mother, who died last year.

"My mum died of a broken heart fighting this case, she lived and eat and breathed this case and the details of this case. It just broke her in the end," Dean said.

The last three weeks have been painful for this family.

In court, they told the jury they struggled to understand how Bryant became caught up in such a serious crime.