More from the Myatt inquest

The inquest into the death of Gareth Myatt continues. Community Care reports:

One of the custody officers who was restraining Gareth Myatt when he died was investigated a year earlier in 2003 over his approach to behaviour management, a court has heard.

[David] Beadnall was internally investigated for using pain-inducing “distraction” techniques too often, the court heard. Documents from Rainsbrook showed his use of such methods decreased after he was supervised, but Beadnall told the court he had no recollection of the probe.

…The court heard how Beadnall, who is six foot two and heavily built, was in charge of the block at the centre, near Rugby, on the night of Myatt’s death. He and colleagues Diane Smith and David Bailey had restrained the four foot ten teenager, who weighed six and a half stone, after he became disruptive.

Secure Training Centres are privately run prisons for 12-15-year-olds, Rainsbrook and Medway both being in the hands of Group4Falck subsidiary, ‘Rebound’. In an adjournment debate last November, MP Sally Keeble pointed out that

At Medway and Rainsbrook, however, the position is more serious. Those are the two secure training centres with the greatest use of restraint. One of them was also the scene of the serious incident last April. In addition, I understand that those centres did not allow admission to the consultants employed by the Home Office to carry out the review of physical control in care.

As she goes on to say, the Home Office should have terminated the contracts when they were refused access. They are the public authority responsible for offender-management, and cannot simply abrogate all responsibility by handing children over to private-sector prisons.

If you can stomach it, Sally Keeble’s speech also explains what is meant by ‘distraction techniques’. Clue: they’re not the same as the sort of thing parents do when they can see that their toddler is on the verge of a mega-tantrum (if they don’t want to end up in court, that is).

It’s astonishing how little attention the mainstream media is paying to this inquest. Nobody outside the comment columns of the tabloids would seriously suggest that assault or execution are acceptable judicial punishments for children (or anyone else, for that matter) so where is all the public outrage about this?

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3 Responses to More from the Myatt inquest

  1. James says:

    I imagine that most people these days would simply regard him as one more yob, and good riddance. You’re swimming against the tide, folks.

  2. archrights says:

    Yes, I think you’re right. It’s very sad, especially when you consider that a large proportion of the children who end up in these places have learning difficulties, or have been abused and neglected.

  3. James says:

    I won’t say you’re wrong, but I dare you to say that in public.

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