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Man in first Taser gun incident accused of threats to kill

By Brendan McDaid

A man is to appear in court charged with making threats to kill in connection with the first ever use of a Taser gun in Northern Ireland.

Police last night confirmed that the 37-year-old is due to appear at Londonderry Magistrate’s Court on Monday, September 15, charged with three counts of making threats to kill.

The man is also faces a further charge of common assault, with all charges to be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service. The charges relate to an incident in the Galliagh area of Derry on August 16.

Last week the Policing Board confirmed that the Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde had responded to a request from its chairman, Sir Des Rea, to deliver a report on what happened when the weapon was used during an alleged domestic incident.

The report was to be given to members of the Policing Board’s Human Rights and Professional Standards committee in Belfast last Wednesday.

The Policing Board only learned that the Taser had been used in Northern Ireland after it was reported in the Belfast Telegraph.

The Policing Board was set to decide whether to support the use of Tasers at a meeting scheduled for September 4.

Responding to questions from the Belfast Telegraph, the PSNI confirmed two weeks ago that it was the first use of the weapon — which delivers an electrical shock to incapacitate the target — anywhere in Northern Ireland.

The police said in January that they had received permission from the Secretary of State to buy 12 Tasers, for use by specially trained officers.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission claimed they could potentially violate Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights concerning inhumane treatment and the right to life.

Members of the Policing Board have also voiced their concerns.

Belfast Telegraph

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