Unsolved Murders

Julian Webster

Age: 24

Sex: male

Date: 1 Apr 2009

Place: Pitcher and Piano, Deansgate Locks, Manchester

Julian Webster died after being restrained by bouncers outside the Pitcher and Piano club in Manchester.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of murder and manslaughter but not charged.

The club had closed but Julian Webster wanted to go back inside to get his phone but was not allowed. He was restrained by up to three bouncers up against a glass window for 8 minutes by the neck and when he was released he collapsed and when he arrived at hospital he was confirmed dead.

When the police arrived at the scene Julian Webster was still being held and when the police ordered the bouncers to release him Julian Webster collapsed with no signs of life.

It was said that although Julian Webster had at first approached the bouncers in a manner deemed to be threatening and that the bouncer's response in self-defence had been lawful, their use of the neck lock was excessive, disproportionate and unlawful. The inquest heard that he had lunged at the bar manager and was then restrained by the bouncers.

The inquest heard that whilst he was being held Julian Webster had gone quiet and that the bouncers had simply thought that their restraint was being effective.

His initial post-mortem examination was inconclusive and a second post-mortem was also inconclusive.

At his inquest in 2012 the Crown Prosecution Service said that there was insufficient evidence and that it was not in the public interest to prosecute anyone.

The inquest heard that Julian Webster had an undiagnosed heart condition that contributed to his death and that he had suffered a cardiac arrest. It also heard that his heart condition was undetected and could have caused his death at any time. Two Home Office forensic pathologists said that a surge in adrenaline caused by the events of that night could have put stress on his compromised heart and made it fail and that the adrenaline was typically created in fight, fright or flight situations such as he was in. One Home Office pathologists said that he thought that Julian Webster's heart disease had contributed more than minimally to his death and that if he had not have had his heart condition that he would not have died.

A doctor said, 'I would give a cause of death as ischemic heart disease and the effects of restraint'. He had initially said that there were three possible causes of death and that he could not decide on which one was the actual cause of death. He said that the options were heart disease, neck pressure obstructing the airway, and positional asphyxia.

The inquest also heard that Julian Webster was 5ft 10in tall and weighed 11 and a half stone whilst one of the bouncers was 6ft 5in tall and weighed 21 stone.

An expert in restraint said that the neck hold, a chin lock, that Julian Webster had been put in was highly dangerous and the inquest heard that the restraint played a significant role in his death. It was heard that when a bouncer put his forearm under Julian Webster's chin and pulled up his breathing would have been impaired and more than minimally have contributed to his death.

The inquest heard that the combination of adrenaline on Julian Webster's heart and his positional asphyxia, which deprived him of oxygen could have acted together and exacerbated each other.

In 2014 a judge ordered the Crown Prosecution Service to review the decision not to charge anyone with manslaughter over Julian Webster's death, but there is nothing more known.

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