THE owner of an Oxford jewellery shop has told an inquest he was "devastated" to discover the man they tackled to the floor had died.
Speaking at the inquest into Clint Townsend's death at Oxfordshire Coroner's Court today John Gowing, who owns John Gowing Jewellers in the city's Covered Market, said: "After a horrible experience it just made it even worse.
- Wednesday update: Coroner records verdict of death by misadventure + audio recording of family statement
"He was a big, strong lad and it didn’t cross my mind for a second that the force we were using could lead to his death. There was a lot of weight of bodies of people sat on him.
"There were no blows or anything, we just all fell to the ground. The eventual outcome was devastating."
Mr Townsend had attempted to break into the jewellers on the morning of Saturday, March 2013, but was tackled to the ground by several members of the public.
The 33-year-old was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Headington, where he later died after suffering from a cardiac arrest.
Mr Townsend, of Barton Road, was one of two robbers who had come into the Covered Market on a motorbike, the inquest heard.
The inquest will continue tomorrow.
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