Cornwall

Newquay club death: Doormen deny Michael Kearns' manslaughter

Exterior Sailors nightclub, Newquay
Image caption Michael Kearns died on the pavement outside the Newquay nightclub

A man died after four nightclub doormen held him face down on the pavement until he could not breathe, a court heard.

Michael Kearns, 48, died outside Sailor's nightclub in Fore Street, Newquay, in April 2013.

Prosecutors told Truro Crown Court the four had taken Mr Kearns to the ground after he assaulted a man in the club.

Lewis Bowns, 26, Richard Favetta, 30, Ian Harold, 46, and Graham Luty, 35, all denied manslaughter.

'Regard for wellbeing'

The court heard that keen angler Mr Kearns was kept face down on the pavement for about 10 minutes until he lost consciousness in the early hours of 27 April 2013.

Simon Laws, barrister for the Crown Prosecution Service, told the court: "Mr Kearns had been aggressive and they had a right to use force against him initially.

"But when people have to use force as part of their job, it's entirely reasonable to expect they do so professionally and exercise appropriate care."

On the first day of their trial, the prosecution said the doormen failed to show "a basic regard for Mr Kearns' wellbeing".

Mr Laws said: "They continued to use force when it was no longer necessary and Mr Kearns could not breathe."

The court heard Mr Bowns, of Lewarne Road, St Columb; Mr Favetta, of Penmere Drive, Pentire; Mr Harold, of Fernhill Road, Newquay; and Mr Lutey, of Summercourt were working together and should be held jointly responsible for the outcome.

The trial, expected to last for up to four weeks, continues.

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