Four face charges over restraint death on Manchester tram system

The Metrolink Tram System (John Giles/PA)
The Metrolink Tram System (John Giles/PA) The Metrolink Tram System (John Giles/PA)

Four tram staff who restrained a man who died will be charged with manslaughter.

Father-of-one Jack Barnes, 29, from Hull, was held by four “customer service representatives” monitoring anti-social behaviour on the Metrolink tram system in Manchester in October 2016.

He died on December 2, two months after the incident in Manchester city centre outside Victoria Station.

Jack Barnes death
Jack Barnes death Jack Barnes was unlawfully killed when he was restrained (Family Handout/Hudgell Solicitors)

In March 2021, following and inquest, HM Senior Coroner for Manchester Nigel Meadows ruled the death was an unlawful killing and stated the restraint “more than minimally, trivially or negligibly contributed to the cardiac arrest”.

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyers on Thursday said four men will now be charged.

Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said, “Paul Fogarty, 50, Brian Gartside, 59, Stephen Rowlands, 67, and Matthew Sellers, 29, who were staff members subcontracted by Metrolink at the time, are to be charged with unlawful act manslaughter.

“Mr Rowlands will also be charged with a single offence of perverting the course of justice relating to a witness statement.

“The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against these defendants are active and that they have the right to a fair trial.

“It is extremely important there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

Fogarty, from Bolton, Gartside from Rochdale, Rowlands, from Bolton, and Sellers, from Bury, all Greater Manchester, will appear at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on a date yet to be fixed.