Man having epileptic fit Tasered by police

Police Tasered a man from Manchester after he ignored their requests that he stop having an epileptic fit.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said in a statement that paramedics called police to the scene of a 40 year old man who was having an epileptic fit at the Powerleague gym in Whalley Range, Manchester.

The man, later identified as Howard Swarray, was was punching and biting in the course of his fit, said the IPCC and the paramedics called asked for police back-up.

Police subsequently used Taser in ‘stun mode’ to deliver a 50,000-volt shock to the man, in an apparent attempt to calm him down. It failed to do so.

Eventually, a medic gave him an injection of the horse tranquiliser and clubber's favourite mind-boggler, ketamine. Swarray spent more than two weeks in hospital after the incident, for eight days of which he was kept in a drug-induced coma.

He filed a complaint against the police charging them with using excessive force.

Police forces issue Taser guns to firearms officers. They are instructed to use them only when confronted with a situation so violent that no other course of action is possible.

Epileptics can be seized by violently convulsive fits they are unable to control. Police are instructed ask politely for people's co-operation before they bring the Taser out.

The IPCC did not say whether the Taser officer had already tried calming the epileptic down with his truncheon.

Tasers, which administer a powerful electric shock through barbed projectiles, create an effect on their victim very similar to those experienced by epileptic fits, which temporarily seize the brain with excessive bursts of electrical activity.

The home office said last year that the police would not be allowed to use Tasers as instruments of public order.