Cornwall

Marc Cole inquest: Police Taser use 'played part' in death

Marc Cole Image copyright Cole Family
Image caption Marc Cole had been suffering with poor mental health and delusional thoughts, the inquest heard

The use of a police Taser played a part in the death of a man who was behaving erratically, an inquest jury ruled.

Marc Cole, 30, died after an incident on a street in Falmouth in May 2017.

The inquest in Truro heard Mr Cole had been carrying a knife and had delusional thoughts.

A jury found his death was caused by "excess use of cocaine resulting in paranoid and erratic behaviour, with the use of a Taser having more than a trivial impact".

On 23 May, PC Timothy Wilson arrived at Langton Road to find Mr Cole pacing the street barefoot, carrying a kitchen knife and self-harming.

Eyewitnesses said he was wandering as though "lost".

The inquest heard PC Wilson shouted at Mr Cole to drop the knife but he did not, so the officer deployed his Taser three times for a total of 42 seconds.

Mr Cole went into cardiac arrest and was taken to hospital but effectively died at the scene.

In previous months, he had suffered delusional thoughts and paranoia, the court was told.

He had also taken cocaine during the afternoon which would have increased the chance of an adverse effect from the Taser.

The jury said: "The police officer told Marc to drop the knife twice.

"Marc did not follow the command to drop the knife, the officer shouted 'Taser, Taser' and then deployed the Taser."

Those closest to Mr Cole told the jury his mental health deteriorated after the death of his father in 2015.

The coroner offered his condolences to Mr Cole's family.

His family said his death had "destroyed our lives" and have called for an "urgent review of police use of Taser".

They added a review was "too late for Marc, but we believe this would save lives".

Devon and Cornwall Police said the matter was referred to, and investigated by, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which concluded the performance of its officers did not fall below the standard expected.

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