‘Macho culture’ at secure training centre where teenager died, inquest hears

Staff at the secure training centre where Gareth Myatt died operated in a “macho culture” where officers had nicknames such as “crusher”, ”clubber” and “mauler”, an inquest has heard.

Staff records from a monthly meeting on restraint techniques at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre, near Rugby, describes on officer as being “on active duty”, the inquest into Myatt’s death heard.

The inquest heard evidence from Leanne Clay, now duty operations manager, who was a training supervisor at the time of Myatt’s death in April 2004. The three officers who were restraining him when he died had their last refresher training session on restraint in January 2004, conducted by Clay. 

The court heard that on two occasions, officers described children who had been restrained the highest number of times as “winners”.

Officers undergoing training were given nicknames – Clay was “clubber Clay”, others were called crusher, mucker, mauler, rowdy and breaker.

The names were included in a training document issued to staff by Clay, which was produced at the inquest. She said that the names were ironic and “the complete opposite” of the officers’ personalities. Clay added: “Well it was certainly different from my personality.”

Dexter Dias, for Myatt’s family, put it to Clay that there was a “macho culture” regarding restraint at the centre, but she said: “Definitely not.”

Richard Furnace, for Rebound, the company that runs Rainsbrook, said: “In retrospect, it was a very, very, tasteless joke, wasn’t it?” Clay said: “Yes”

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