Shop security guards have described the moment they "held down" a teenager who later died of a cardiac arrest, but denied harming him.

Mzee Mohammed Daley , 18, was in the grip of a severe psychotic episode when he collapsed inside a fast-food kiosk in Liverpool ONE shopping centre on July 13, 2016.

An inquest into his death, before a jury at Liverpool Coroner's Court , heard from three of five security guards who rushed into Chips Agogo, near the bus station, after Mzee clambered over the counter .

The guards had heard reports over the Liverpool ONE security radio channel that a man matching Mzee's description had been running around with a knife.

Paul Oxton, a security officer contracted to work at Monsoon, was first into the kiosk and described seeing Mzee "in a press-up position" trying to raise himself up.

An image of Mzee Mohammed Daley, 18, who died after being detained by security guards and police. His sister Melissa said this was the "smile that she remembered"

Senior coroner for Liverpool and Wirral, Andre Rebello, asked him: "What did you do?”

Mr Oxton replied: "I took hold of his waist and pushed it back to the floor."

When asked whether this was done with force, he said: "No, I did not need to use force because he was inches off the floor."

Dr Rebello asked: "What was the purpose of holding him down to the floor?"

Mr Oxton said: "To keep him from reaching for anything that could be used as a weapon, just to keep him in a controlled position."

Footage showing the final moments of Mzee Mohammed, 18, who died after being detained by security staff and police in Liverpool ONE shopping centre

He described how another security officer, Daniel Chu, contracted to Liverpool ONE, took hold of Mzee's hands and told him "You are not going anywhere, the police are on their way."

Dr Rebello asked: "From what you can remember did you or anyone else harm Mzee?”

Mr Oxton said: "Categorically, no."

 

He described how the police attended and immediately placed him in handcuffs.

In an exchange with barrister Graham Wells, representing Merseyside Police , he was asked: "At the time the police placed him in handcuffs, what did you think?"

Footage showing the final moments of Mzee Mohammed, 18, who died after being detained by security staff and police in Liverpool ONE shopping centre

Mr Oxton said: "I thought at the time; he was already in the recovery position, he wasn’t causing any aggravation, he wasn’t aggressive, he wasn’t shouting, he wasn’t saying anything, I thought before they cuffed him they would have checked him out."

In response to questions from members of the jury, who are allowed to question witnesses in inquests, he said Mzee did not resist when he pushed his waist down.

 

The jury also heard from Mr Chu, who while working part time as a security guard also worked as an emergency medical technician (EMT) for the North West Ambulance Service.

He said he remembered Mzee being on his back when he entered the kiosk, and he described pulling him onto his side into the recovery position and holding his arms to stop him rolling onto his back.

Mr Chu described Mzee as "unresponsive," but under questioning clarified that while Mzee did not speak he did show signs of movement.

Mzee Mohammed, 18, from Liverpool, who died after an incident in Liverpool ONE
Mzee Mohammed Daley, 18, from Liverpool, who died after an incident in Liverpool ONE

Under questioning from Mr Wells, he agreed that after carrying Mzee out of the kiosk, officers from Merseyside Police had placed him in an "improvised recovery position," although his hands remained cuffed behind his back.

A woman on the jury asked Mr Chu: "Did Mzee struggle a lot inside the kiosk?"

He answered: "No, he just looked like he was trying to get up off the floor."

 

Scott Williams, a customer support officer for Liverpool ONE, described the moment he was returning from a break when he saw Mzee slip and fall outside the then Tavern on the Green bar in Chavasse Park.

He said, moments earlier, he had heard on the radio about a "dangerous male" with a knife but thought Mzee may have been the victim of an attack and told the control room he was going to help.

Footage of Mzee Mohammed being detained
Footage of Mzee Mohammed being detained

However he told the jury when he described Mzee, who he said was shouting "get the police", the control room operatives said Mzee was in fact the suspected knifeman and to observe only.

Mr Williams said he and two other guards, Tony Ainsworth and David Lamb, followed Mzee across the park and down the Sugarhouse Steps, by Bierkeller bar, and into the kiosk.

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Mr Williams said when they rushed in Mzee was "kicking his legs" so he and Mr Ainsworth held them still.

However he said he could not tell what the other guards in the kiosk were doing, as he was focusing on holding Mzee's legs.

Mr Williams said: "I remember that when me and Tony took hold of his legs he calmed down....I stood up and Tony had started to check for a knife because we were not sure he had a weapon.

Friends of Mzee Mohammed place floral tributes at Liverpool One

"It was then he started kicking out again. I think it was because he felt that no-one was holding his ankles so I knelt down and held his ankles again."

Mr Williams said a short time later police arrived and he backed away.

However in a statement made after the incident, Mr Williams said: "I did notice Mr Mohammed trying to struggle with the police when they carried him out...I heard them telling him to calm down."

Paul Clark, representing Mzee's family, played some body-cam video footage of police officers carrying Mzee out of the kiosk, who seemed motionless.

He asked if this struggling was "evident in the footage."

Mr Williams said: "No, it was inside the kiosk.

Earlier this week the jury heard Mzee, of Old College Place, Kensington, had been diagnosed with autism, Asperger's syndrome, attention deficit hyper-activity disorder (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The inquest continues.