A 55-year-old man who died after having a cardiac arrest during an early morning police raid was initially thought to be having a panic attack, an inquest jury has heard.
Chesterfield Coroner’s Court was told Cyril McGuinness was handcuffed and then twice given a cup of tea by police during a search linked to an inquiry led by the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Mr McGuinness was pronounced dead in hospital on the morning of November 8 2019 after suffering a “cardiac event” around an hour after police forced their way into his home in Rockfield Road, Buxton, Derbyshire.
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 on Tuesday, Detective Sergeant Matthew Hill said he was part of a team which forced entry at around 7am.
The officer, who followed two or three other officers into the property and then waited in the living room for further instructions, said Mr McGuinness was detained upstairs and was then escorted in handcuffs to the kitchen, where he was seated on a chair.
DS Hill added: “The duty assigned to me while the search commenced was to supervise Mr McGuinness.”
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, the jury was told.
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”.
DS Hill’s statement went on: “Therefore I passed him his rolling tobacco and Rizla papers from the kitchen table.
“At this point he informed me that he wanted to go back outside for some fresh air.”
After giving Mr McGuinness his inhaler, as he had requested, DS Hill asked another officer to summon an ambulance.
“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.
It emerged on Monday that 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 on Wednesday.