19 December 2005

Today the CPS announced that there will be no prosecution in the case of 15 year old Gareth Myatt who died on April 19th 2004 at Rainsbrook secure training centre near Northampton, whilst being restrained by staff.

Speaking after the decision the solicitor for Gareth’s mother Pamela Wilton, Mark Scott from Bhatt Murphy, said:

“Some 19 months after 15 year old Gareth Myatt died in custody my client remains largely in the dark about how he came by his death.  The little information that has been disclosed has been to raise serious concerns about the techniques of restraint with which we allow our children to be controlled.  The decision of the CPS on the basis of evidence that is not yet available will itself be the subject of scrutiny.”

Helen Shaw, co-director of INQUEST said;

“The shocking death of Gareth Myatt begs questions about how it was that potentially lethal methods of restraint were being used against children.  There must now be a thorough and far reaching inquest to ensure that the full facts surrounding his death are subject to proper public scrutiny. This must happen quickly to allow his mother the opportunity to discover the full circumstances surrounding her son’s death.”  

Notes to editors:

On 16 April 2004 Gareth Myatt was made the subject of a twelve month Detention and Training Order and   sent to Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre. Rainsbrook opened in July 1999 as one of three privately owned children’s jails in England. It is operated by Rebound EDC, a subsidiary of the security company Group 4.

On the evening of April 19, just three days into his sentence, three members of Rainsbrook staff physically restrained him. Gareth was subjected to a `seated double embrace’ restraint technique (which has subsequently been suspended) during which he lost consciousness. A Duty Nurse failed in attempts to resuscitate him and an ambulance was called and he was taken to Walsgrave hospital in Coventry where he was pronounced dead at 10.25pm.

INQUEST is the only non-governmental organisation in England and Wales that works directly with the families of those who die in custody. It provides an independent free legal and advice service to bereaved people on inquest procedures and their rights in the coroner’s courts. INQUEST has long standing concerns about restraint related deaths in custody and in particular the deaths of black people following its use.