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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Handcuffs bent in ‘severe’ struggle with Barrow man

POLICE struggled with the enormous strength of a bodybuilder who died within hours of being tasered while he was high on drugs, an inquest heard.

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SHAKEN: DC Scott Elliot at the Dale Burns inquest in Kendal. JON GRANGER REF: 50043614B000

PC Kevin Milby, who fired the Taser, said he had never seen anyone in such a state after taking drugs.

Despite being hit with the 50,000 volt weapon and sprayed with PAVA spray, Dale Burns was able to resist efforts to handcuff him.

The jury at the inquest into the 27-year-old’s death was yesterday shown a pair of handcuffs that had been left bent out of shape due to the severity with which he struggled.

At the hearing, which began at the County Hall in Kendal on Monday, police have described what happened after they were called to a disturbance at Mr Burns’s Hartington Street flat, in Barrow, on August 16, 2011.

PC Milby described how he and three other officers were called shortly after 6.30pm. He said they found the 18 stone dad-of-two agitated and pacing in his living room.

Mr Burns told them he had taken a gram of the drug “madcat” and PC Milby described how his eyes were turning up into his skull.

He said Mr Burns seemed to be unaware they were police officers, or even that there was anybody else in the room.

He said: “I have never seen anybody in that condition in my experience.”

Another officer, Detective Constable Scott Elliot, who was a PC at the time of the incident, said Mr Burns’s agitation increased before he came “directly at us”.

It was at this point PC Milby fired the Taser, causing Mr Burns to fall to the floor. Despite this, he still easily fought off PC Elliot as he tried to handcuff him.

“I went to grab his right arm, but he just shook me off, I had no chance,” DC Elliot said.

Mr Burns was tasered a second time, but still resisted.

“I went to try and apply the handcuffs and he grabbed me by my stab vest and shoved me backwards and I have gone backwards into the TV stand,” DC Elliot said.

DC Elliot then sprayed him directly in the eyes with the PAVA spray, but this had “no effect at all”.

It was only after Mr Burns had been tasered twice more and other officers had come to help that he was restrained and put in a police van that took him to Furness General Hospital.

He went into cardiac arrest and died there at 8.41pm.

Mr David Lock, who is representing Mr Burns’s two children Ethan, three, and Honor, five, has been questioning the officers’ version of events.

He said notes made in DC Elliot’s pocket notebook shortly after Mr Burns died did not mention him advancing towards them across the room and the position where he was said to have fallen was not consistent with him having done this.

However, both officers have insisted Mr Burns presented a danger to them when he was tasered.

The inquest is expected to last until February 8.

Have your say

The man had a long history of abusing illegal and then so called 'legal highs' and died because of that. The medical facts are that the taser did not kill him the drugs did......it's very sad indeed and I feel for his family and friends but stop look for fault in the authorities....the inquest was transparent and all the facts know, stop spinning the truth

Posted by E on 15 February 2013 at 11:44

A very sad case of a young life lost for no reason. The media would do better to label this muck "Knocked up in a filthy garage in Amsterdam" rather than "Designer Drugs". It conveys the image of coolness and acceptability, when it is so far from that, and it has cost this poor family their loved one.

Posted by Patience of Job on 11 February 2013 at 15:02

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