Published: 10:30, 01 May 2014
A sales agent for the Folkestone-based company SAGA died after a bust-up with bouncers at the company’s Christmas party in 2012.
David Ivin, 36, was forced to the ground by the security men and then died when his heart and lungs stopped working.
Now Brent Wright, 36, from Broomfield Road, Folkestone and Martin Barnwell, 30, from St John’s Road, Elvington, Dover have gone on trial accused of his manslaughter. Each deny the offence.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson told the jury at Canterbury Crown Court: “There was no natural cause for his heart and lungs to cease operating properly.
“We say the restraint of Mr Ivin was unnecessary and the manner and duration was excessive and contrary to proper training and techniques. It posed an obvious and serious risk to Mr Ivin’s health.”
Mr Ivin had been working on the company’s home care-personal assistance team and had been invited to one of two Christmas bashes on December 13.
The door supervisors worked for 219 Security which had been recruited to provide security at Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone.
The prosecutor said Mr Ivin had attended the invitation-only event after drinking in the nearby Scuba Bar at the Portland Hotel.
“This was a Christmas party and Mr Ivin’s blood concentration showed he had a high degree of intoxication, but colleague Lauren McCue described Mr Ivins as merry rather than drunk.
Another colleague, Samantha Causer, considered him to be tipsy," claimed Mr Atkinson.
During the evening Mr Ivin was seen “dancing and having a good time with his friends and colleagues” before going outside for a cigarette.
CCTV – which was shown to the jury – caught Mr Ivin attempting to return inside the hall but was prevented from after he showed his SAGA ID card rather than the invitation.
“Mr Ivin started to go downstairs and was stopped by Barnwell, who spoke to him again.
“Barnwell appears to push him in the chest and Mr Ivin grabbed hold of the balcony rail", it was alleged.
At 9.42 pm the two bouncers took hold of Mr Ivin’s arms and “forcibly moved” to the front doors of the hall, it was claimed.
Mr Atkinson said eye-witnesses said there was an angry confrontation and the bouncers ended up on top of Mr Ivin.
“What Mr Ivin's intoxication cannot do is absolve the defendants of responsibility or permit them to have acted in any way they chose towards him.
“Unsurprisingly, door security staff are trained that those who are intoxicated can be more aggressive and it stresses the need to behave calmly and professionally.
“During the confrontation, Mr Ivin was restrained by Barnwell and Wright, both of whom held him on the floor.
"This was gross negligence. The post mortem showed that Wright's hold had been used too long and with too much force, causing significant damage to the neck" - prosecutor Duncan Atkinson
“Wright jumped on Mr Ivin’s back to force him to the floor and then administered a dangerous neck or choke hold.
“The duration of the restraint by both of them was both considerable and excessive", the prosecutor alleged.
A pathologist is expected to tell the jury that a post mortem revealed that small burst blood vessels in Mr Ivin's eye were caused by "sustained pressure for at least 20-30 seconds", which had prevented normal blood flow and caused an irregular heartbeat pattern.
Mr Atkinson added: "It is clear these two men owed Mr Ivin a duty of care. They were responsible for maintaining security at the hall where he was a guest.
"This was gross negligence. The post mortem showed that Wright's hold had been used too long and with too much force, causing significant damage to the neck", he claimed.
The trial continues.