Officer right to use Taser to prevent man cutting throat

Published Date: 06.05.2015

A police officer was justified in discharging Taser when a 20-year-old man began to cut his throat during an incident in Glengormley, an investigation by the Police Ombudsman’s Office has concluded.

Police had arrived at a house to see the man through a smashed upstairs window cutting his throat with a sharp implement.

Officers entered the house and spoke to the man, but when he began to force the implement into his throat an officer discharged his Taser. They were then able to restrain him.

The incident happened on 16 October 2013 and like all discharges of police firearms in Northern Ireland was referred to the Police Ombudsman’s Office for independent investigation.

Investigators obtained accounts from the officers involved and spoke to the man and his mother, who corroborated the description of events provided by the officers. Neither raised any issues of complaint about police actions.

The officer who fired the weapon was found to have been properly trained and authorised to do so.

Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire concluded that the use of the weapon had been lawful, proportionate and necessary.

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