Taser contributed to man’s death

Published: Monday 6th July 2015 by The News Editor

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A factory worker died partly as a result of being shot with a Taser and restrained by police officers, an inquest jury has concluded.

Jordon Begley, 23, was shot with the 50,000 volt stun gun and hit with “distraction strikes” while being restrained and handcuffed by three armed officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP). He died in hospital around two hours later, at 10pm on July 10, 2013.

While the initial Taser shock did not cause his heart to stop, the jury concluded that the use of the Taser and the restraint “more than materially contributed” to a “package” of stressful factors leading to Mr Begley’s fatal cardiac arrest, the inquest at Manchester Civil Courts of Justice heard.

In damning conclusions, the jury also said the officer who pulled the trigger, Pc Terence Donnelly, inappropriately and unreasonably used the stun gun for longer than was necessary.

And after Mr Begley struggled and was restrained by armed police they were “more concerned with their own welfare than his,” the jury said.

Tasers have never been ruled to have directly caused a death in a UK inquest involving police use of the stun gun.

But today’s verdict, following a five week hearing, is believed to be the first time in the UK a jury has ruled that a Taser and restraint contributed to a fatality.

Mr Begley’s family are now intending to sue GMP.

His mother, Dorothy Begley, 47, who gave evidence during the inquest, left the courtroom in tears as the jury’s conclusions were read out.

The conclusions are likely to re-open criticism of the increasing use of Tasers as a “less lethal” option than guns for police.

Since the introduction of Tasers in 2003, Home Office figures show its use has increased by more than 200%, with one in 10 officers now armed with a Taser and more than 10,000 Taser incidents in England and Wales in 2013.

Published: Monday 6th July 2015 by The News Editor

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