Belfast Telegraph

Police Taser armed intruder who went on rampage in mum's Lisburn home

By Deborah McAleese

An armed intruder was Tasered by police in Lisburn after he broke into the home of a terrified woman with a young child.

Police negotiators and an armed response team were called to the house in the Tirowen area of the town in the early hours of Friday morning after the woman made an emergency call for help.

A 38-year-old man, brandishing a knife, had entered the house and refused to leave.

When officers arrived at the scene they found the man to be in a "distressed and agitated state".

He smashed a number of windows in the house before moving into a neighbouring property that was lying empty.

Officers from the specially trained Armed Response Unit forced their way into the house and disarmed the suspect. A Taser was used on the man during the police operation.

He was taken to hospital by officers for treatment.

Chief Inspector John Wilson said: "Local police officers responded to the report at 2am. When they arrived at the house in the Tirowen area they discovered a man in a distressed and agitated state inside the property. This man was suspected to be armed with a knife."

Mr Wilson said the priority for officers "was to ensure the occupants inside were safe and any offenders were identified and detained as quickly and as safely as possible."

The Chief Inspector added: "The intruder shattered windows in the house before moving to a neighbouring house which was unoccupied.

"At one point a chair was thrown through a window. Local officers sought the assistance of the specially trained PSNI Armed Response Unit while negotiating with the male.

"Officers from this unit entered the house and disarmed the man. A PSNI Taser was used in the incident. The female who called police, and her child, were not injured."

Police have appealed for anyone who was in the Tirowen area at 2am on Friday morning and saw or heard anything suspicious prior to this incident to contact police on 101.

As is normal procedure when a PSNI Taser unit is discharged, the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland has been informed.

Police used a Taser for the first time in Northern Ireland in August 2008 to subdue a father who had locked himself and his two children in a house.

More recently, officers in Belfast used a Taser to arrest a dangerous prisoner who had escaped from custody in the Republic of Ireland.

Derek Brockwell, from Glasgow, attacked two prison officers escorting him from Portlaoise Prison to Tallaght Hospital in Dublin last February and escaped. A day later he was arrested by PSNI officers on Belfast's Bedford Street.

In May, an investigation by the Police Ombudsman into the use of Tasers by PSNI officers on 10 separate occasions over a two-year period found their use was lawful, proportionate and necessary given the risks faced by officers and the danger posed to members of the public.

Belfast Telegraph


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