Belfast Telegraph

Police use of Taser on man in Dunmurry was necessary

By Colin Francis

Police acted lawfully when they used a Taser against a man reported to have taken an overdose and who had locked himself in a house, the Police Ombudsman has concluded.

Dr Michael Maguire was asked by police to investigate the use of a Taser during the incident, which happened in Dunmurry on the outskirts of south Belfast in December 2013.

Police had received a 999 call reporting concerns about the man's welfare.

Officers went to the house, which was locked, and saw him inside taking tablets and washing them down with Buckfast wine.

A police armed response unit was sent to the scene and forced entry to the property via the back door. Officers told Police Ombudsman investigators that the man then ran up the stairs holding a screwdriver and throwing bottles at them.

Several warnings were shouted before a Taser was discharged at him. The man was later charged and pleaded guilty at court to the offences of possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence, criminal damage, and assault on police.

Dr Maguire concluded that the use of a Taser during the incident had been lawful, proportionate and necessary.

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