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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Police ‘untrained to deal with state of Barrow dad’

POLICE who restrained and tasered a dad who later died were not trained in dealing with the state of “excited delirium” he was believed to be in, an inquest heard.

Dale Burns, 27, died on August 16, 2011, in Furness General Hospital after being tasered four times in his flat in Hartington Street, Barrow.

An inquest into his death, which is being held in the County Hall, Kendal, heard officers found him in the flat high on drugs and extremely agitated.

The dad-of-two was tasered by a police officer who feared he would become violent.

He was taken to FGH in a police van where he went into cardiac arrest and died.

The jury have been told that during his arrest the 18 stone bodybuilder was showing many of the signs of a condition known as “excited delirium” or “acute behavioural disorder”.

People who are in this state can exhibit extreme strength and endurance of pain, but are also at risk of the sudden onset of heart problems.

Grant Ambrose, a physical training instructor for Cumbria police, told the inquest guidance and advice on dealing with people in this state had been set out by the Association of Chief Police Officers as early as 2008.

This guidance said those in a state of excited delirium should be “contained rather than restrained” and also that they should be dealt with as a “medical emergency”.

However, that guidance was not circulated to officers in Cumbria until August 11, 2011 – less than a week before Mr Burns’ death.

In July 2011, Chief Inspector Ali Dufty emailed Mr Ambrose saying she believed the topic should be included in Cumbria police training.

Mr Ambrose said following that email he circulated the ACPO advice to Cumbrian officers.

Only one officer involved in the arrest, PC Steve Riley, has given evidence that he considered Mr Burns may be in a state of excited delirium at the time.

The inquest is expected to continue into next week.

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