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Taser boss 'destroyed' by furore


Peter Boatman was found dead at his Northampton home

Peter Boatman was found dead at his Northampton home

Peter Boatman was found dead at his Northampton home

A company director believed to have killed himself was "destroyed" by the furore caused by criticism of his firm for supplying the Tasers used during the stand-off with gunman Raoul Moat, his business partner has said.

Peter Boatman, who was director of operations for Pro-Tect Systems, was found dead at his Northampton home and is understood to have taken his own life.

The Home Office revoked the firm's licence to import and sell Tasers on Tuesday after it breached its terms by supplying X12 Tasers, which were still being tested by Government scientists, directly to police involved in the Moat manhunt.

Kevin Coles, Pro-Tect's managing director, said there was "no doubt" that his colleague's apparent suicide was linked to the week's events.

He said: "He was a proud man and he felt ashamed at recent developments. He spent all his life involved in officer safety and what happened was a result of him being worried about the welfare of officers. He knew there was something there that would offer the officers protection and that was what his motive was. The furore over it destroyed him."

The 57-year-old former police officer had a "lovely wife", children and young grandchildren: "He's not a person you imagine would ever do that."

Mr Boatman was previously in charge of assessing the merits of Taser as head of operational training for the Northants force before leaving to join Pro-Tect.

Mr Coles, who was also a family friend of his, said he "wasn't the man he was" after the criticism levelled at his firm. He added: "We're all just dreadfully sorry for (his wife) Steph and the family."

A Home Office spokesman said it could not comment while the police investigation was ongoing, but added: "Any such death is a tragedy."

Northamptonshire Police said later that "due to recent police contact with the deceased" the force had voluntarily referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

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