Posted by Ali Cloak, Senior Associate
Inquest jury concludes police taser is most likely cause of death
An inquest into the death of a Plymouth man has concluded that a Taser fired by a police officer was the most probable cause of a fire which killed him.
The inquest heard how 32-year-old Andrew Pimlott had doused himself in petrol before a police officer fired a Taser at him. A fire erupted, engulfing Mr Pimlott in flames. He died a few days later from complications from the burn injuries he sustained.
The jury returned a narrative verdict, saying they felt the Taser was the most likely source of ignition. They also said that they did not know whether Mr Pimlott was holding a match at the time, as was claimed by the police officer involved.
Ali Cloak, a solicitor at Withy King, is representing Mr Pimlott’s family. Speaking after the inquest, Mrs Cloak said: “The family are concerned that a Taser was used in circumstances where training in Tasers makes it clear that if you can ignite a substance with a match, you should expect a Taser to have the same effect. They are also concerned that the officers did not attempt to try to resolve the situation by communicating with Andrew before resorting to using the Taser.”
She continued: “While Andrew was in some ways a troubled young man, he was a loving, son, brother and uncle who will be very much missed by his family.”
The family is now pursuing a civil claim for compensation, with help from Ali Cloak and the team at Withy King.
In a report published today (2 October 2015), the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has recommended that the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the College of Policing (CoP) revise their Taser training to provide officers with a more comprehensive guide on dealing with flammable liquids.
The IPCC makes clear that following this incident, Taser should only be considered for use in the presence of flammable substances as a last resort, and after every other available option has been considered and discounted. The recommendation is included in the IPCC investigation report that examined events surrounding the death of Mr Pimlott and the discharge of Taser.
For further information, please contact Natalie Birrell at NBPR on 07557 356860 or email email@example.com
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