Thursday 17 April 2014

Naked man 'delirious' before dying, says Garda sergeant

A Garda sergeant has insisted "reasonable" force was used to restrain a naked man who had a stress-related heart attack shortly after being handcuffed.

Sgt Keith Heffernan was giving evidence on the fifth day of the inquest into the death of William Kavanagh (58), from Edenmore Crescent, Raheny, who died shortly after he was restrained by gardai.

They found him running around naked in the Bayside area of north Dublin on June 5, 2009.

Sgt Heffernan told the court that Mr Kavanagh, who had punched a female garda in the jaw, had been "extremely violent" and resisting arrest but denied any mistreatment of the deceased.

"I can definitely say that at no stage during the incident did I or any of the gardai present assault or mistreat Mr Kavanagh in any way. The gardai present used a reasonable amount of force," he said.

Dublin Coroner's Court previously heard that Mr Kavanagh had been involved in a number of bizarre incidents earlier in the evening including an assault on his brother-in-law.

He punched Garda Judith Notely when she grabbed his arm as she and a colleague chased after him.

State pathologist Marie Cassidy told the court that, based on the evidence of the events in the hours before his death, she believed Mr Kavanagh was exhibiting symptoms of "excited delirium".

The condition causes sudden, bizarre and often violent behaviour.

Mr Kavanagh, who had significant heart disease, died as a result of a stress related heart attack.

The hearing continues today.

Irish Independent

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