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Last Updated: Friday, 7 March 2008, 12:05 GMT
Call for end to child restraint
Gareth Myatt
Gareth choked on his own vomit as he was restrained
MPs have called for an end to the use of painful restraint methods on children in custody in light of the death of a Staffordshire teenager.

Two techniques have been suspended since Gareth Myatt from Stoke-on-Trent choked to death while being restrained at a Northamptonshire centre in 2004.

Gareth died after three officers held him in the "seated double embrace", not one of the suspended methods.

But the Ministry of Justice said it was reviewing the use of restraints.

The report by the Joint Human Rights Committee, said changes to guidance effectively gave staff free reign to use violence to enforce discipline.

Choked on vomit

It found restraint techniques were used about 3,000 times a year - equivalent to 10 times per child at four detention facilities in England.

"Restraint should only be used to prevent injury to the trainee or others or to prevent escape, a spokesman said.

However, the Ministry of Justice said there was a clear distinction between the severity of the types of techniques used.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded at Gareth's inquest last June after jurors heard he died after choking on his vomit.

Coroner Richard Pollard called for a review of physical restraint methods.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
How restraint techniques work



SEE ALSO
Restraints on children 'must end'
07 Mar 08 |  UK Politics
Review needed after boy's death
18 Jul 07 |  England
Criticism over youth jail death
28 Jun 07 |  England



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