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.
"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.
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Our top stories
8:30am Saturday 29th August 2015
A TOP transplant surgeon has backed the Oxford Mail organ donation campaign saying more donors are needed than ever before.
9:00am Saturday 29th August 2015
A RAPIST who disappeared before his trial to escape justice is believed to have had a second passport he could have used to flee the country.
8:00am Saturday 29th August 2015
MOVING tributes were paid to Carole Roberts yesterday at the former Lord Mayor of Oxford’s funeral.
7:00am Saturday 29th August 2015
Seven men have appeared in court accused of a catalogue of sex offences.
6:30am Saturday 29th August 2015
PLANS for an Oxford Garden City could return as the Vale looks to accommodate 4,000 new homes.
6:00am Saturday 29th August 2015
FULL plans have been revealed for 140 new homes in Littlemore near Heyford Hill Sainsbury’s.