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Inquest opens into the death of Richard Betts after a fight in Larkspur Close, East Malling


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An inquest has opened into the death of 23-year-old who passed away after a fight in his family home.

Richard Betts, of East Malling, was pronounced dead in June last year, the day after the altercation at the house in Larkspur Close.

Neighbours reported hearing shouting and screaming coming from the house and a front window was smashed.

Richard Betts died after being restrained during an altercation
Richard Betts died after being restrained during an altercation

A report read at the opening at Archbishop's palace in Maidstone earlier today stated the young father had suffered cardiac arrest after being restrained during the incident.

Further, a post mortem examination found he had died of a multiple organ failure.

His brain was starved of oxygen due to a cardiac arrest caused by what is described in the report as "prone restraint with positional asphyxia in a person with high body-mass index and mixed drugs use."

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed an independent investigation would be launched.

The home in Larkspur Close
The home in Larkspur Close

Officers arrested a man in his 40s from the East Malling area but later released him without charge.

Police have declined to make any further comment.

His death sparked an outpouring of grief online and he was remembered by friends and family as an “all round top man.”

Read more: All the latest news from Malling

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