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Dale Burns inquest starting today


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#1 marralass

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:19 AM

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Its taken a long time for this inquest to happen, it will be interesting to see what comes out. Howevever, I note that the press are still using the "taser death" tagline rather than waiting to hear the evidence. This was a case that was all over the national press when it happened, it will be interesting to see if the inquest gets the same coverage.

#2 SimonT

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:24 AM

Around 50 witnesses are due to give evidence. - holy cow. there must have been a lot of people in that flat. 

 

Im assuming the result, if it is that the police didnt decide to murder someone for no obvious reason, will go unreported. never seen a headline POLICE DO NOTHING WRONG. Would be a little odd. 



#3 marralass

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:28 AM

Around 50 witnesses are due to give evidence. - holy cow. there must have been a lot of people in that flat. 

 

Im assuming the result, if it is that the police didnt decide to murder someone for no obvious reason, will go unreported. never seen a headline POLICE DO NOTHING WRONG. Would be a little odd. 

True, but if the cause of death had nothing to do with the taser and more to do with whatever caused him to smash his flat up then I suspect it could still make an interesting headline. One however, that the press are less likely to publicise.



#4 marralass

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:11 PM

It has just been reported on the local radio that he had taken a drug called "mad cat" and that was the main cause of his heart attack. That seems to be just the opening comments of the inquest and I would think that a further explanation will follow. Its possible that the steroid abuse may also be a contributing factor.



#5 marralass

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:17 PM

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A BODYBUILDER was Tasered four times in under a minute by police as they struggled to arrest him, an inquest has heard.

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DALE BURNS

Dale Burns, 27, died hours after being repeatedly hit "without warning" by the electric shock gun and pepper-sprayed in the face as officers tried to hold him with handcuff and leg restraints, the hearing was told.

Father-of-two Mr Burns was described as a "gentle giant but with a drug habit" who had taken a "gram of Madcat", an illegal drug, on the day he died, the inquest at the County Hall in Kendal heard.

The taxi driver had also abused steroids and ecstasy pills while working as a nightclub bouncer in Barrow, the inquest heard.

Alan Sharp, the Deputy Coroner for South and East Cumbria, told the jury of five women and six men they may have to see distressing CCTV footage of a wild-eyed, semi-naked and agitated Mr Burns in the police van after his arrest for criminal damage.

Mr Burns died at Furness General Hospital around two hours after police were first called to his flat on August 16, 2011.

Outlining the case, Mr Sharp told the jury that at around 6pm a woman living in the flat below Mr Burns on Hartington Street in Barrow noticed water coming through her ceiling.

The landlord's agent was called and broke into Mr Burns's flat to find him undressed, thought to be high on drugs and possibly self-harming - and police were called at 6.33pm.

Two police cars and a police van arrived, with six officers in all arriving at the property.

Pc Kevin Milby "seemed to assume the lead" and he was authorised to carry a Taser.

The officers found Mr Burns in his flat naked from the waist up, sweating, very agitated, with dilated pupils and his eyes rolling in the back of his head.

"Dale (Burns) told PC Milby, 'I have taken one gram of Madcat'," Mr Sharp said, a drug believed to be MDPV, or methylenedioxypyrovalerone.

The officers decided to call an ambulance and "tried to engage Dale" in the living room, with the situation seemingly under control.

But when the paramedics arrived Mr Burns "indicated in clear terms" he did not want treatment and they left.

As the bathroom toilet, extractor fan and light fitting were broken, Mr Burns would have to be arrested for criminal damage, the inquest was told.

He was becoming more and more agitated and aggressive, throwing things around the room and objects out of the flat window on to the street below.

"After throwing a glass out of the window, Dale turned towards Pc Milby and approached him, eyes rolling into the back of his head with fists clenched," Mr Sharp told the jury.

"He was fearful he would be attacked and feared for his own safety.

"The officers said there was simply no time to issue a warning."

At 6.50pm Pc Kilby fired the Taser for the first time, with the barbs lodging on Mr Burns's torso, and a five-second pulse of electrical charge struck him.

It caused him to fall backwards then forwards, knocking his head on a TV cabinet.

Three seconds after, the officer discharged the Taser again, for a further five seconds, but this did not stop Mr Burns as the officers struggled to get handcuffs on him.

Then 23 seconds later the Taser was used again, but between the second and third discharge another officer also used Pava, or pepper spray, on Mr Burns.

The third discharge was "not successful" in enabling the officers to handcuff him and at 6.50pm and 52 seconds the Taser was used on him for a fourth and final time.

"All the discharges took place in the space of a minute," Mr Sharp told the jury.

"It will be important to keep that timetable in mind."

The officers managed to get handcuffs and leg restraints on him and decided to carry him down the three flights of stairs to the police van outside to take him directly to hospital.

"During all this time Dale was said to be struggling violently with the officers," Mr Sharp said.

He warned the jury they may have to see distressing CCTV footage from cameras in the police van of Mr Burns's behaviour on the journey.

"I must warn you, there is CCTV footage showing the inside of the back of the van showing Dale naked and struggling to get out of his restraints while the journey is taking place.

"It is very distressing. It lasts about 10 minutes."

Mr Burns was carried into the emergency ward at Furness General Hospital in Barrow and medics administered diazepam at 7.35pm and he calmed down.

But he had a seizure that lasted several seconds at 7.43pm and he was connected to a monitor that showed he had high heart rate, blood pressure and temperature and low blood sugar levels.

Mr Burns then suffered a heart attack and despite hospital staff and a police officer giving CPR for 40 minutes, he was pronounced dead at 8.41pm.

A post-mortem examination revealed there was no abnormality of Mr Burns's heart but there were traces of "Madcat", or the drug MDPV, in his blood.
Mr Burns had two children, Ethan, aged three, with Sara Keverne, and five-year-old Honor, with Lisa Wilson.

Ms Wilson told the jury her former partner would take pills and inject vials of anabolic steroids as part of his bodybuilding regime.

And while working as a bouncer she said Mr Burns would regularly take ecstasy pills and she had also caught him smoking cannabis and snorting cocaine.

"I put a stop to that," she added.

She agreed with the description of Mr Burns as a "gentle giant with a drug habit", adding that he was "never aggressive" and their daughter had got "lots of good memories of him".

Mr Burns's mother, Donna Rodden, said her son began his interest in bodybuilding aged 13, left school three years later and aged 18 began working as a bouncer at pubs and clubs in Barrow.

It was a job he later had to give up after having his licence revoked when convicted of threatening behaviour.

Later he worked for Network Rail but took redundancy amid fears he was a suicide risk and over failing a company drugs test.

Ms Rodden said she thought her son began to suffer from depression from 2009 onwards, gradually getting worse, with a "general dissatisfaction" about how his life was going.

"Nothing ever shook off that grey cloud," she added.

Around the same time she became aware her son was also taking plant food, a "legal high" that "made him happy".

And he also began to take a drug called "Ivory Wave" he bought from sex shops.

The drug use made him "slightly paranoid" and damaged his relationship with the mother of his son, Ms Rodden added.

Fourteen months before his death Mr Burns took an overdose and his father David Burns, an offshore cable installation worker, said he was aware of his son's drug use.

He told the inquest he tried to get his son to get help and counselling but he "did not stick with it".

The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow morning, when the arresting officers are scheduled to give evidence.



#6 Sectioned Detection

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:24 PM

We've a coroner desperate for a job like this one as he's made it clear that if a Taser is used at ANY time before a death (years even) then the cop who used it is getting it both barrels! He's mad as a box of frogs!

#7 meditate

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:45 PM

We've a coroner desperate for a job like this one as he's made it clear that if a Taser is used at ANY time before a death (years even) then the cop who used it is getting it both barrels! He's mad as a box of frogs!

 

The mere fact he has stated this means he has compromised himself from a legal perspective I would imagine.

 

I havent followed this case but the DM write up seems pretty fair. It states he has been on several drugs and the PM showed his heart was normal which, to me, was a bit of a surprise considering his abuse of anabolic steroids etc.



#8 Sectioned Detection

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:20 PM

The result of this will certainly be the difference between further role out of Taser or it grinding to a halt.

#9 meditate

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:27 PM

Taser I would imagine, is pretty much established now. It will only be withdrawn if non drug abusing recipients started dropping like flies (dead that is). 



#10 SimonT

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:33 PM

I like the way the papers keep saying he was ' tasered four times in under a minute.'

 Unless it's my cynicism there seems to be a definite implication that 4 Times was too many. 

 

the thing about taser is that after you stop the discharge the person is pretty much unaffected. so if they keep fighting you have the choice of tasering again, stopping them from ripping out the barbs, or holding off and letting your colleagues try and physically restrain the person. which with a body builder in a rage would be very hard. 

 

but I suppose we need a tasering limit of some sort so no one gets upset,  after which we will just have to use batons, sprays and hope we don't get too hurt. 



#11 meditate

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:41 PM

Dont you know Tasering someone is like fine wine. It has to be savoured, not gulped down in one go.



#12 cheesedoff

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:51 PM

I like the way the papers keep saying he was ' tasered four times in under a minute.'

 Unless it's my cynicism there seems to be a definite implication that 4 Times was too many. 

 

the thing about taser is that after you stop the discharge the person is pretty much unaffected. so if they keep fighting you have the choice of tasering again, stopping them from ripping out the barbs, or holding off and letting your colleagues try and physically restrain the person. which with a body builder in a rage would be very hard. 

 

but I suppose we need a tasering limit of some sort so no one gets upset,  after which we will just have to use batons, sprays and hope we don't get too hurt. 

There is a limit to the amount of discharges. I'm not sure if it's restricted info though so i'm not posting it here but rest assured there is one in the manual.



#13 Arcane

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:35 AM

There is a limit to the amount of discharges. I'm not sure if it's restricted info though so i'm not posting it here but rest assured there is one in the manual.

 

So restricted it isn't available to Taser trained officers?  Rest assured, no aspect of Taser training will remain hidden from an inquest such as this. Everything from Home Office and ACPO guidelines down to the individual officers' Taser and OST training records will be made available, and a stack of experts wheeled out to support it all.  We're talking about a publicly accountable, modern police 'service' here - who do you work for, the men in black?! 

Cumbria Constabulary would have been aware post incident, of the frequency, duration and timescale of the Taser discharges from its data log.  I think it's safe to say therefore, that PC Milby acted in accordance with his training, otherwise they would have suspended him immediately in an attempt to distance themselves from wrong doing.  Quite the opposite in fact; when The Bureau of Investigative Journalism spoke to them some months after Mr Burns' death about them being "one of the most prolific users of ‘repeat-Tasering’ in the country",  

"Cumbria Constabulary’s press officer Ben Meller said: ‘Taser officers are selected for their judgement, temperament and self-control and trained to understand the implications of Taser use.

‘Taser officers are trained to operate within the legal framework for use of force at statute and common law in terms of using no more force than is reasonable, and to understand their obligation under ECHR to use no more force than is absolutely necessary in pursuit of a legal aim."

As I understand it, as in all situations, the minimal use of force is advised, but no limit is dictated.

See further;

<quote>Repeated, prolonged and/or continuous exposure to the taser electrical discharge may cause strong muscle contractions that may impair breathing and respiration, particularly when the probes are placed across the chest or diaphragm. Users should avoid prolonged, extended, uninterrupted discharges or extensive multiple discharges whenever practicable in order to minimise the potential for over-exertion of the subject or potential impairment of full ability to breathe over a prolonged time period</quote>

 

Of course, I am but a humble pleb cheesedoff, so you may know best.....



#14 marralass

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:52 PM

 
So restricted it isn't available to Taser trained officers?  Rest assured, no aspect of Taser training will remain hidden from an inquest such as this. Everything from Home Office and ACPO guidelines down to the individual officers' Taser and OST training records will be made available, and a stack of experts wheeled out to support it all.  We're talking about a publicly accountable, modern police 'service' here - who do you work for, the men in black?! 
Cumbria Constabulary would have been aware post incident, of the frequency, duration and timescale of the Taser discharges from its data log.  I think it's safe to say therefore, that PC Milby acted in accordance with his training, otherwise they would have suspended him immediately in an attempt to distance themselves from wrong doing.  Quite the opposite in fact; when The Bureau of Investigative Journalism spoke to them some months after Mr Burns' death about them being "one of the most prolific users of ‘repeat-Tasering’ in the country",  
"Cumbria Constabulary’s press officer Ben Meller said: ‘Taser officers are selected for their judgement, temperament and self-control and trained to understand the implications of Taser use.
‘Taser officers are trained to operate within the legal framework for use of force at statute and common law in terms of using no more force than is reasonable, and to understand their obligation under ECHR to use no more force than is absolutely necessary in pursuit of a legal aim."
As I understand it, as in all situations, the minimal use of force is advised, but no limit is dictated.
See further;
<quote>Repeated, prolonged and/or continuous exposure to the taser electrical discharge may cause strong muscle contractions that may impair breathing and respiration, particularly when the probes are placed across the chest or diaphragm. Users should avoid prolonged, extended, uninterrupted discharges or extensive multiple discharges whenever practicable in order to minimise the potential for over-exertion of the subject or potential impairment of full ability to breathe over a prolonged time period</quote>

 
Of course, I am but a humble pleb cheesedoff, so you may know best.....
The law is "reasonable force" not "minimum force", it is not possible to judge the exact minimum required because there are too many variables, too many unknowns and things move too quickly. This is explained in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, section 76 subsection 7
“that a person acting for a legitimate purpose may not be able to weigh to a nicety the exact measure of any necessary action; and that evidence of a person's having only done what the person honestly and instinctively thought was necessary for a legitimate purpose constitutes strong evidence that only reasonable action was taken by that person for that purpose.”

#15 cheesedoff

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:32 PM

So restricted it isn't available to Taser trained officers?  Rest assured, no aspect of Taser training will remain hidden from an inquest such as this. Everything from Home Office and ACPO guidelines down to the individual officers' Taser and OST training records will be made available, and a stack of experts wheeled out to support it all.  We're talking about a publicly accountable, modern police 'service' here - who do you work for, the men in black?! 

Cumbria Constabulary would have been aware post incident, of the frequency, duration and timescale of the Taser discharges from its data log.  I think it's safe to say therefore, that PC Milby acted in accordance with his training, otherwise they would have suspended him immediately in an attempt to distance themselves from wrong doing.  Quite the opposite in fact; when The Bureau of Investigative Journalism spoke to them some months after Mr Burns' death about them being "one of the most prolific users of ‘repeat-Tasering’ in the country",  

"Cumbria Constabulary’s press officer Ben Meller said: ‘Taser officers are selected for their judgement, temperament and self-control and trained to understand the implications of Taser use.

‘Taser officers are trained to operate within the legal framework for use of force at statute and common law in terms of using no more force than is reasonable, and to understand their obligation under ECHR to use no more force than is absolutely necessary in pursuit of a legal aim."

As I understand it, as in all situations, the minimal use of force is advised, but no limit is dictated.

See further;

<quote>Repeated, prolonged and/or continuous exposure to the taser electrical discharge may cause strong muscle contractions that may impair breathing and respiration, particularly when the probes are placed across the chest or diaphragm. Users should avoid prolonged, extended, uninterrupted discharges or extensive multiple discharges whenever practicable in order to minimise the potential for over-exertion of the subject or potential impairment of full ability to breathe over a prolonged time period</quote>

 

Of course, I am but a humble pleb cheesedoff, so you may know best.....

Thanks for the information, condescending as it was.

Having been involved in several inquests both as a principle officer and a witness, I am well aware that information held by the Police will be given over to the inquest if required whether restricted or not, but this forum isn't an inquest, is it.

The training manual is a restricted document so therefore not available for public consumption.

As for your insinuation that i said there was a limit to the amount of force an officer could use, please point me to the sentance where this is written. I said there was a limit to amount of Taser discharges. Perhaps i should have used the words "recommended amount".

Taser trained officers should be aware that if Taser is used a certain number of times then the NPIA or CoP as it is now (who incidentally write the Taser training manual) dictate that it is not working (as in not having the required or desired effect in relation to the control of the subject) and another avenue should be chosen or explored.

If your Taser trainers are not telling you this then that is a concern to be honest, cos it's in the manual.



#16 marralass

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:18 PM

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Well the verdict is in. It was the MDPV (madcat) that killed him and the police did not use excessive force.

 

Wonder if we'll see that all over the papers and news tomorrow or if deaths only get such widespread coverage when we can blame the police.



#17 Frank Drebin

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:23 PM

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Well the verdict is in. It was the MDPV (madcat) that killed him and the police did not use excessive force.

 

Wonder if we'll see that all over the papers and news tomorrow or if deaths only get such widespread coverage when we can blame the police.

 

 

Hmmmm,................. I wonder,.. :rolleyes:



#18 marralass

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:39 PM

Its seems that the national press have shown an overwhelming lack of interest. Doing a web search it seems it didn't get a mention in any national newspaper. It was covered by BBC local news, various local newspapers and a few forums.






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