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Man died after being held face down for 30 minutes by Sainsbury’s security guards, inquest hears

Lithuanian shoplifter, 43, died after being held face down by Sainsbury security officers for more than 30 minutes, investigation finds

  • Ramunas Paskauskas was stopped by security after becoming aggressive
  • Sainsbury’s staff, who had no training in the technique, also assisted security

A shoplifter who was held face down in a branch of Sainsbury’s for more than 30 minutes died of injuries sustained during his detention, an inquest has found.

Ramunas Paskauskas, 43, was detained by two security guards in a training room of the supermarket in Spalding, but he became confused about what was happening due to a language barrier.

When Mr. Paskauskas, partly because of the alcohol he had been drinking, started to become menacing and aggressive, he was restrained on the floor.

During the inquest at Lincoln’s Myle Cross Center, the guards, who had little training in restraining, heard him lowered to the floor, but he remained aggressive, so they restrained him in a prone position, face down.

They were then assisted by Sainsbury’s staff who were not trained in the technique at all.

Ramunas Paskauskas, 43, died after being detained by two security officers in a Sainsbury’s training room in Spalding (pictured)

The supermarket security guards (stock image), who had little training in self-control, lowered Mr. Paskauskas to the floor and held him in a prone position, face down

The supermarket security guards (stock image), who had little training in self-control, lowered Mr. Paskauskas to the floor and held him in a prone position, face down

Mr. Paskauskas’s health deteriorated and he died at Lincoln County Hospital. The medical cause of death was hypoxic/ischemic injury of multiple organs, respiratory and cardiac arrests, and fixation in the prone position.

A jury considering the evidence at the inquest last week reached the conclusion of death by misadventure.

The jury foreman said: ‘On 8 January 2019, Ramunas Paskauskas was held for attempted robbery at Sainsbury’s store in Spalding. The arrest was in a training room in the store.

“During detention, Mr. Paskauskas became erratic and his behavior escalated to threatening and aggressive, exacerbated by the alcohol consumption and his confusion about the situation and the language barrier.

“The two guards restrained themselves and lowered Mr. Paskauskas to the ground, but his behavior remained aggressive and he was then retrained in the prone position, face down.

Until three Sainsbury’s parties helped contain it. There was a total period of fixation in the prone position of more than 30 minutes.

“Although coercive measures were taken to counter Mr. Paskauskas’ resistance, the security team had little training and experience in applying physical restraints or recognizing the associated risks. The Sainsbury’s had no training in these matters.’

They added: ‘The deceased died as a result of the injuries sustained during this period of restraint. The decedent met his death on January 8, 2019 at Lincoln County Hospital, Greetwell Road, Lincoln.” Mr. Paskauskas was born in Lithuania on 27 April 1975 and lived in Spalding at the time of the incident.

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: “We have supported the police and the coroner in this matter and recognize that this case has now been completed. Our thoughts are with Mr. Paskauskas’ friends and family.’