Devon

Plymouth Taser officer cleared of misconduct

Andrew Pimlott
Image caption Andrew Pimlott died in hospital five days after being Tasered

A police officer who Tasered a petrol-soaked man who then caught fire and died has been cleared of misconduct.

The Devon and Cornwall force conducted a misconduct hearing after the incident in Plymouth on 18 April 2013.

The hearing panel found the case against the constable "not proven", the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.

Last year the Crown Prosecution Service said there was "insufficient evidence" to bring criminal charges.

50,000-volt charge

Two Devon and Cornwall officers were called to a house in Coombe Park Lane at about 21:00 on 18 April 2013 after reports about a man with a can of flammable liquid.

The IPCC said a Taser, which delivers a 50,000-volt electrical charge to targets to incapacitate them, was fired during the incident.

Andrew Pimlott, 32, who had poured petrol over himself, died in hospital five days after he was Tasered.

The IPCC investigated and recommended that the officer had a case to answer for gross misconduct for his actions, which led to the misconduct hearing.

Reporting the results of the misconduct hearing, the IPCC said it had now provided its report to HM Coroner ahead of an inquest into the full circumstances of Mr Pimlott's death.

'Challenging circumstances'

The IPCC investigation report is expected to be published at the conclusion of the coroner's inquest.

Deputy Chief Constable Bill Skelly, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "This has been a long and difficult period for both Mr Pimlott's family and the officer and our condolences remain with the Pimlott family.

"Any officer using a Taser is subject to extensive training, and we should not underestimate the challenging circumstances police officers face in their line of duty. Difficult decisions sometimes need to be made in highly pressured situations.

"We will continue to support and train our officers to use Tasers appropriately and safely in line with national guidance."

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