Stoke & Staffordshire

Taser shooting death in Newcastle-under-Lyme investigated

Audley Road
Image caption The man died despite the efforts of paramedics, police said

The police watchdog has begun an investigation after the death of a 34-year-old man who was shot with a Taser.

The incident happened in Audley Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, after officers responded to a reported break-in shortly after 01:00 GMT on Monday.

An officer discharged a Taser at a man in the flat and he later became "unresponsive", the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.

The IPCC said it was investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.

Staffordshire Police said paramedics were called after the man became unresponsive in a police vehicle, but despite their efforts, he died a short time later.

A post-mortem examination into his death was carried out on Monday and the IPCC said the results may be released later.

Investigators have contacted the man's family to explain their involvement in the case, the watchdog said.

'Early stage'

IPCC Commissioner Kathryn Stone said: "I would like to express my sincere condolences to the man's family at this difficult time.

"We are at a very early stage of our independent investigation into the actions police took at the scene. We will be examining closely police involvement in this incident and the circumstances surrounding the man's death."

Tasers were introduced in England and Wales in 2003 and rolled out across both countries in 2008. Police guidelines stipulate the device may be used where officers face "a risk of serious violence".

What is a Taser?

Image copyright AP

The Taser fires two darts with a five-second, 50,000-volt charge, which can temporarily disable its target

Its ammunition consists of a single-use compressed air cartridge which fires the darts and has to be replaced each time the weapon is fired

Staffordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis said on Monday it was "immensely sad" the man had died.

Mr Ellis said he was "hopeful and confident" footage from body cameras, introduced by the force last year, would prove "very useful indeed" to investigators.

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