Manchester

Taser death: Jordan Begley 'took one step too far'

Jordan Lee Begley Image copyright PA
Image caption Jordan Begley suffered a cardiac arrest about two minutes after being hit by a Taser

A police officer shot an unarmed man with his Taser because he was worried he might have a knife and took "one step too far", an inquest heard.

Jordan Begley, 23, died in hospital after being shot with the stun gun at his Manchester home in July 2013.

Police went to the house after his mother called 999 to say he had grabbed a knife during a row with neighbours.

Mr Begley was hit with "distraction strikes" described as "standard procedure" for those resisting arrest.

PC Terence Donnelly told Manchester Civil Courts of Justice that he had warned Mr Begley to stand still so he could be searched.

The officer said he opened fire with the stun gun after Mr Begley put his hands in his pockets and walked towards him.

Image caption Mr Begley's mother Dorothy called police to say her son had grabbed a knife in a row with neighbours

PC Donnelly said: "I told him we have received a call with somebody with a knife, we just need to make sure it is not you, or words to that effect.

"He just seemed to be ignoring me."

The officer said Mr Begley, described as a heavy drinker and cocaine user, walked towards him. It was at this point he took out the Taser and repeatedly urged Mr Begley to surrender to a search.

PC Donnelly said: "I repeated, 'Stand still! Taser officer. Stand still! Show me your hands'."

Mr Willems asked: "Did he?"

PC Donnelly replied: "No. He steps again. I took a small step backwards. He then took a quicker step, a quick step towards me. That's when I fired the Taser."

Mr Willems asked if Mr Begley had taken "one step too far".

"Correct," PC Donnelly replied.

After the Taser was used, four or five armed police officers "burst" in to restrain Mr Begley, who struggled with them.

He then began to struggle to breath and lost consciousness.

He was taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary where he died shortly afterwards.

The jury heard that medical assessments concluded Mr Begley suffered a cardiac arrest about two minutes after the Taser was deployed, but it did not or was "unlikely" to have contributed to the heart attack he suffered.

The episode was more likely to have been linked to alcohol intoxication and the stress of being restrained, the jury heard.

The court was told Mr Begley had thrown the knife down and was unarmed when police arrived.

The hearing is scheduled to continue on Friday.

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