G4S guards cleared over Jimmy Mubenga death
Three G4S security guards have been found not guilty of the manslaughter of a man who died during an attempted deportation at Heathrow airport.
Jimmy Mubenga, 46, suffered a fatal heart attack after being restrained on a flight, in October 2010.
Terence Hughes, 53, Colin Kaler, 52, and Stuart Tribelnig, 39, denied acting dangerously or negligently during the incident, on a British Airways flight.
They had been accused of restricting Mr Mubenga's breathing.
'Bitterly regret death'
The Old Bailey heard passengers recall Mr Mubenga crying out "I can't breathe" as he was pinned down in his seat - while already being handcuffed from behind with his seatbelt on.
But the guards denied forcing him into a seat and pinning him down leaning forwards in a position which affected his ability to breathe. They also insisted they never heard him shout that he was struggling to breathe.
Mr Mubenga was being deported to Angola after serving a two-year prison sentence for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The jury, which had retired to consider its verdict on Monday, found Mr Hughes from Hampshire, Mr Kaler of Bedfordshire and Mr Tribelnig from Surrey not guilty of manslaughter, after a six-week trial.
Following the verdict, the three guards said they were very happy to have been cleared.
In a statement issued on their behalf, lawyer Alex Preston said: "Terrence Hughes, Colin Kaler and Stuart Tribelnig are delighted to have been found not guilty so quickly.
"They bitterly regret the death of Mr Mubenga but have always said they were trying to do a very difficult job in difficult circumstances, to the best of their ability.
"They are grateful to the judge and jury for the care they have taken resolving these sad events."
The men do not work for G4S any more.
The security company had the Home Office's contract at the time of Mr Mubenga's death.
Following the verdict Mr Mubenga's wife Adrienne said: "I am shocked and disappointed. It is hard for me to understand how the jury reached this decision with all this evidence that Jimmy said over and over that he could not breathe.
"I wish to thank everyone who have worked so hard for justice for me and our children. My struggle continues."
A Home Office spokesman said: "Our policy has always been that restraint during removals should only be used as a last resort.
"Our new bespoke training package for aircraft removals, approved in June this year, will better equip our staff with practical tools to minimise the need for restraint and ensure that only the most appropriate techniques are used."