Manchester

Jordon Begley inquest: Taser and restraint 'contributed' to death

Jordan Lee Begley Image copyright PA
Image caption Jordan Begley suffered a cardiac arrest and died at Manchester Royal Infirmary

An unarmed man died partly as a result of being "inappropriately and unreasonably" Tasered and restrained by police officers, an inquest has found.

Jordon Begley, 23, died in hospital after being Tasered in Gorton following a row with neighbours on 10 July 2013.

Eleven officers attended Mr Begley's home after his mother called 999 to report he had a knife.

The inquest jury delivered a narrative verdict after a five-week hearing at Manchester Civil Courts of Justice.

Following the verdict, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) "restricted" the operational duties of the officers involved in the case.

'Package of stress'

Jordon Begley was shot with the 50,000 volt stun gun from a distance of 28in (70cm).

He was hit with "distraction strikes" while being restrained and handcuffed by three armed officers from GMP, the inquest was told.

While the initial Taser shock did not cause his heart to stop, the jury concluded that the use of the Taser and the restraint "more than materially contributed" to a "package" of stressful factors leading to Mr Begley's cardiac arrest.

Another factor, they concluded, was Mr Begley's intoxication at the time of the incident and confrontation with police.

In damning conclusions, the jury said the officer who pulled the Taser trigger, PC Terence Donnelly, "inappropriately and unreasonably" used the stun gun for longer than was necessary.

'Minimal resistance'

The jury said PC Donnelly pulled the trigger for eight seconds which was "not reasonable in the circumstances".

After Mr Begley struggled and was restrained by armed police they were "more concerned with their own welfare than his," they added.

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Media captionEleven officers attended Mr Begley's home after his mother called 999 to report he had a knife.

The 23-year-old factory worker offered "minimal resistance" and there was "no need" for one officer to punch him a second time in a "distraction strike" as they handcuffed him, the inquest heard.

The ruling concluded he was also left too long face down with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Outside court his mother, Dorothy Begley, 47, described the jury's conclusions as "fantastic" and called for all police officers to wear body cameras.

'Say sorry'

She said: "After two years of fighting everybody, fighting the system, Jordon's day has come. That is all I ever wanted. The last two years have been hell."

"Someone has got to say sorry, they've got to. That's what we want."

The family is now seeking legal advice.

Assistant Chief Constable Dawn Copley said the verdict had "raised a number of serious concerns, including the way the Taser was used, the use of force by the officers after the Taser was deployed and about the communication between the officers who attended Jordon's home".

"In the interim, I have decided to restrict the operational duties of the officers involved in the Taser discharge and restraint until we have had time to fully consider the coroner's comments and have further dialogue with the IPCC."

Since the introduction of Tasers in 2003, Home Office figures show its use has increased by more than 200%, with one in 10 officers now armed with a Taser and more than 10,000 Taser incidents in England and Wales in 2013.

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