POLICE have admitted they took too long to respond to a call from bouncers who were restraining a man who later died, it has been revealed.

Four doormen were holding Reece Lamude outside Churchill’s bar, Southend, last June when they called police for assistance.

However, officers were too busy to respond immediately, and took 21 minutes to get to the scene, by which time Mr Lamude had started to turn blue.

Mr Lamude, 47, from Rayleigh , later died of suffocation, raising questions about whether he may have lived if police had got there sooner.

The doormen were charged with Mr Lamude’s manslaugher, but all four were cleared of any wrongdoing on Wednesday, after a five-week trial.

Mr Lamude’s grieving mother Pat Eaton, from Canvey , refused to comment about the police response time, but feels someone should be held accountable for her son’s death.

An Essex Police spokesperson said: “An incident of this nature would attract a target response time of 15 minutes.

“Unfortunately, due to it being exceptionally busy that night, the response took 21 minutes.

“Given the delay, Essex Police did refer the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which referred it back to the force.

“An internal investigation did not find any misconduct in respect of officers’ actions.”

One of the bouncers, Gary Llewellyn, told Chelmsford Crown Court during the trial he had summoned police on the Townlink radio, but the unit was diverted to another incident. Another police team had to be sent from Shoebury .

However, a police spokesperson said the first unit had been in the process of dealing with another incident, and had yet to finish with it. He said it had been a serious incident, but refused to elaborate.

Mrs Eaton said their family had been left deeply upset by the goings on.

She said: “We waited so long for the trial and it all seems as if it’s been for nothing. No one was accountable at the end of it all.”

She said it had been particularly traumatic for the family to sit through the five-week trial, and see footage of her son’s last moments.

She said: “You’re looking at CCTV and you’re watching the last 20 minutes of his life, and they are playing it all the time in the court. After all that, we are devastated.”

Ryan Boyle, 32, of Kilworth Avenue, Southend, Gary Llewlleyn, 38, of Westbury Road, Southend, Paul Dudley, 42, of Fambridge Road, Rochford , and Ashley Hall, 31, of Jena Close, Shoebury, were all cleared of manslaughter.