POLICE thought a gangster who collapsed and died following a raid on his home was having a panic attack, an inquest heard.
Cyril McGuinness, known as ‘Dublin Jimmy’, was pronounced dead in hospital after suffering a “cardiac event” around an hour after police forced their way into his home to execute a warrant.
The search of McGuinness’s home in Buxton, Derbyshire — requested by the PSNI — took place on November 8, 2019.
McGuinness is the criminal mastermind who orchestrated the abduction of Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney in September 2019.
Chesterfield Coroner’s Court heard that McGuinness was handcuffed and then twice given a cup of tea by police while they conducted their search.
The inquest was told on Monday how officers forced their way into the property and surrounded Mr McGuinness in his bed, while executing a warrant over “serious matters” in Northern Ireland for which others stood trial.
Although Mr McGuinness was not arrested, he was handcuffed under “reasonable restraint” powers while officers searched for electronic devices and documents.
In evidence read to the court today, Detective Sergeant Matthew Hill said he was part of a team which forced entry at around 7am.
The officer said his duty was “to supervise Mr McGuinness” while the search was carried out.
He told the hearing that Mr McGuinness was twice allowed outside to smoke cigarettes he had rolled by hand, and said he had drunk two pints of Carling the previous evening.
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In his statement, which was read to the jury by area coroner Peter Nieto, DS Hill continued: “In between cigarettes I spoke with Mr McGuinness about his health.”
After applying a nicotine patch to the detainee’s chest, as he had requested, DS Hill asked him if he would move into the living room.
Mr McGuinness, who had a history of heart disease, then put on the television and began watching the morning news, and requested a second cup of tea and “another smoke”.
After giving Mr McGuinness his inhaler, as he had requested, DS Hill asked another officer to summon an ambulance.
DS Hill said: “I told him to calm down and relax as it appeared to me that he was having a panic attack. The update for the ambulance was quick and they were two minutes away.”
The inquest was told other officers also thought that Mr McGuinness, whose handcuffs were removed, was experiencing breathing difficulties due to a panic or anxiety attack.
Police began CPR before the arrival of paramedics, who took Mr McGuinness to Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, where he was pronounced dead.
The hearing is expected to finish tomorrow.