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
2:13pm Friday 28th August 2015
A CYCLIST has suffered “serious injuries” after being involved in a collision with a car in Abingdon.
8:30am Friday 28th August 2015
AN MP last night demanded answers about how a rapist who was released on bail could have escaped justice.
2:54pm Friday 28th August 2015
TRAFFIC is moving slowly on the M40 near Bicester this afternoon due to an electrical fire.
2:14pm Friday 28th August 2015
A CYCLIST was involved in a collision with a van this morning in Oxford.
9:00am Friday 28th August 2015
A POLICING finance boss has vowed Thames Valley Police will not be hit with a predicted £43.7m cuts but refused to be drawn on how much could be axed.
8:00am Friday 28th August 2015
AIR show managers in Oxfordshire are reviewing how their events are run in the wake the Shoreham crash, which is thought to have killed at least 11 people.