Neglect during an “excessive” restraint by Surrey Police officers contributed to the death of a father, an inquest has ruled.

Terry Smith, 33, died after being held in custody at Staines police station where he repeatedly told officers he couldn’t breathe and was restrained using a spit hood.

The inquest jury found Surrey Police failings contributed to the death and that the force seriously failed in its duty of care to the father-of-two.

They found there was failure to recognise that Mr Smith was suffering from a serious medical condition at the time and concluded neglect was a contributory factor in his death.

The labourer was restrained by police after his family called an ambulance to their home because he acting in a strange and agitated manner.

The jury heard during evidence given by Terry’s family that he seemed to be hallucinating but was not showing "overt signs of aggression".

He was restrained by police officers at the scene and was further restrained by six officers while in custody at Staines where he remained in handcuffs, leg restraints and a spit hood.

While en route to the hospital, Mr Smith began developing breathing difficulties and was transferred by ambulance to  Hospital where he was pronounced dead the following day.

Following thirteen weeks of evidence heard during an inquest at Surrey Coroner’s Court, the jury returned a verdict that Mr Smith died as a result of an amphetamine-induced excited delirium contributed to by restraint.

They also found that the death was contributed to by neglect caused in part by the failings of Surrey Police

In a statement, Terry’s family said: “The treatment that Terry received from the police has caused us great distress. The manner in which he was restrained was barbaric. The type and nature of the restraint, and in particular the use of the spit hood, was beyond anything we expect to see in a civilised society…”

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Source: SurreyLive