Another Unnecessary Death Due to Restraint

Today the Australian News reported on the death of an Mr. Lyji Vaggs, Aboriginal man who was restrained by security staff and handcuffed by police. You can view the article at:

In the last two decades professionals in our industry have learned a lot about positional asphyxiation, excited delirium and acute behavioural disturbance, yet all the factors that increase the risk of death during and after a restraint were present in this situation.

This can only mean a few things:

1. The officers involved were unaware of the risk factors because they were not trained properly and so were operationally incompetent. If  so the employer is grossly negligent in failing in its duty of care to Mr. Lyji Vaggs; and / or

2. They were aware of the facts but either ignored them or failed to recognise them in which case they were grossly negligent in failing in their duty of care to the patient.

If this had happened in the UK the family would possibly have very good grounds for pursuing a prosecution of the organisation’s involved under Health & Safety statute, the Corporate Manslaughter & Corporate Homicide Act and even Article 2(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998.

I would be interested in your comments on this one.


I am the Director and National Coach Tutor of NFPS Ltd., a specialist provider of Conflict Risk Management Consultancy and Training with specific expertise in Physical Restraint, Breakaway and Self-Defence. In addition to providing training, advice, consultancy and guidance on the physiological aspects mentioned above, we also provide training in NLP, Hypnosis and Meditation as these skills combined provide a holistic way to improve our psychology. By helping people improve both, their physiology and their psychology, we provide a complete and holistic approach to training and development.

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Posted in Positional Asphyxia
One comment on “Another Unnecessary Death Due to Restraint
  1. Rich Diston says:

    Now this looks disgraceful. You are right about what could be responsible. It’s been well reported that certain sections of the Australian system retain racist attitudes against Aboriginal people and this looks like it could well be a factor in this case judging by the following actions after the event. CCTV footage going missing??

    The case for proper training and supervision notches up another unnecessary death. This really should have been avoided.

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