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Friday, 16 April 2010

Another schizophrenia sufferer has been killed after heavy-handed restraint by private security guards. Twenty-seven-year-old Lyji Vaggs, an Aboriginal man, died at Townsville Hospital after mental health orderlies "forcibly restrained" him by sitting on him.

This is not the only case of use of excessive force by private security guards faced with dealing with a psychotic man.

In 2003, 36-year-old Koksal Akbaba died from "restraint related positional asphyxia" after Westfield security guards at the shopping centre in the western-Sydney suburb of Mt Druitt chased him down and tackled him, then restrained him.

In the Townsville case, Vaggs "was handcuffed [by police, who had been summoned] and injected with anti-psychotic drugs, at which point he stopped breathing".

Vaggs had gone to the Townsville Hospital because he was frantic with fear due to the voices he was hearing. Staff told him to go home and take his medicine. There were no beds available for the distressed man.

Pic credit: Conclave.

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