Inquest told patient at King’s Mill Hospital was CS gassed by police

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THE wife of a landscape gardener who died just hours after being restrained by police at King’s Mill Hospital has described the final moments of her husband’s life.

Victor Massey (54), of Palmerston Street, Westwood, died on 8th August 2006 following a disturbance in a hospital bathroom when police used CS gas to restrain him, an inquest was told on Monday.

He was being treated in hospital for pancreatitis, but before the incident his family was told that he was making progress and might be released within days.

At the start of the inquest in Nottingham, his wife, Jane Massey said her husband was a marathon runner for many years until a knee injury curtailed this hobby in 1992.

After initially suffering chest pains in 2004, he became unwell again in August 2006 just three weeks before his daughter’s wedding.

He was admitted to hospital suffering from stomach pains and vomiting, and was diagnosed with pancreatitis after blood tests.

After treatment, Mrs Massey thought he was getting better but was concerned over her husband’s hallucinating, which she said was not in his medical notes, and his switch of medication from morphine to Tramadol.

On the night of 7th August, Mr Massey had seemed agitated because of the actions of another patient who was constantly disturbing people.

“He was agitated and panicky, and kept saying he wanted to come home,” Mrs Massey said.

“A man was upsetting the other patients, he was wanting cigarettes. So I kept asking the nurses, but they would not move him.”

Mrs Massey returned home but shortly before midnight was called back to hospital because her husband had locked himself in a shower.

“There was a commotion outside the hospital when we arrived,” she said. “When we got to his ward I noticed his bed had been stripped and re-made like he had never been there.”

Mrs Massey said she saw her husband on the floor being restrained by police officers.

“He was lying on the floor, all I could see was black trousers and shoes. I told the nurse he had not left the bed for six days. I said ‘he cannot withstand this’. And she said CS gas had been extinguished.

“I saw him lying down handcuffed behind his back, but he had not been laid flat for six days because of his breathing.

“Police said he was going mental and smashing windows, and one of them said ‘I CS-gassed him’.

“But why would you CS-gas a man who was on oxygen?”

Mrs Massey said she saw doctors running down the corridor.

She added: “Then I ran all the way down the corridor and said ‘you have killed him and I will fight this’.”

Mrs Massey was taken to see her husband’s body after he had been pronounced dead. The inquest is expected to last up to three weeks.