A taxi driver’s ‘own actions’ played a part in his accidental death after being thrown out of a Cardiff pub, a coroner said.
An inquest into the death of Lyn Prosser, 43, was told he was aggressive and had a look of “vacant intensity” when he took exception to being asked to leave the O’Neills pub on St Mary Street on January 13.
The rugby fan died after a struggle outside the city centre venue.
Cardiff and Vale Coroner Mary Hassell found the medical cause of his death was cardio-respiratory arrest, coupled with being placed front down, a raised alcohol level and health problems including asthma.
She ruled Mr Prosser’s death was accidental, adding: “If you look at what sits under the Lyn Prosser’s death, I’m very sorry, but it was his own actions. The way he behaved in O’Neills and then the struggle outside.
“The two facts that I found most important was the struggle and the restraint. And the restraint was used because of his own actions in the pub.”
Pathologist Derek James told the court that there were no injuries to Mr Prosser other than the fractured ribs caused by an attempt to resuscitate him by a police officer. An apparent kick by one of the doormen was disregarded by the coroner.
Mr Prosser, who was 6ft and about 20st, had been on a night out with friends.
Mr Prosser and pal Stephen Jones had a heated discussion in both O’Neills and the previous pub they visited, The Cornerhouse.
But it was in O’Neills that the “banter”, as Mr Jones described it, got noisier and more offensive. Door staff Benjamin Beard and Alan Blake asked them to first quieten down then, eventually, to leave.
One of the doormen, Andrew Mcdonnell – who helped restrain one of Mr Prosser’s arms while on the floor – told the hearing “he threw me around like a rag doll”.
Another, David McMaster, told how he placed his shin on the bottom of Mr Prosser’s back to stop him pushing up off the floor, which he was succeeding in doing despite being restrained by a man on each limb.
Mr McMaster, who was on security duty in McDonald’s, said: “It wasn’t compressing on anything that would hurt him. I know I’m a big guy but I wasn’t putting all my weight on him, as soon as he was down on the floor and relaxed I took my weight off him.”
Ms Hassell criticised the fact that once police officers arrived it took more than four minutes to start CPR.
She added: “They arrived and I think they assumed Lyn Prosser was breathing, although he might have been breathing. But looking at somebody’s colour isn’t sufficient. Then it took a whole four minutes and 20 seconds after the police arrived for CPR to be started.”
Pc Lynne Brown had told the inquest earlier that she “believed he was conscious and breathing”.
Following the hearing Mr Prosser’s family released a statement, read out by senior investigating officer DCI Steve Benson Davies, which said: “The events of January13 left my family devastated and changed our lives forever.
“Pross, as he was to us, was a devoted husband and father. He was a hard worker and respected by his friends – losing him has left a huge void in our lives.”
DCI Benson Davies, of South Wales Police, had earlier told the inquest that the CPS had chosen not to prosecute eight men who had been arrested on suspicion of murder because there was a belief the doormen had “acted reasonably” in their action of restraining Mr Prosser.