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Watchdog: police were justified in using Tasers on sword man who threatened them

The use of Tasers by police to control a man who threatened them with a sword during a seven-hour stand off was proportionate, a review has found.

An investigation by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner found that officers were justified in using the devices against the 34-year-old.

Police Scotland were called to the incident in Paisley, Renfrewshire, on June 6, in which the man had assaulted an unnamed woman and held her hostage in a house.

Officers persuaded him to release her but he threatened to stab officers with the sword if they tried to enter the house. Police armed with Tasers contained the man until police negotiators got to the scene.

During a seven-hour period police are said to have tried to resolve the incident but the man became increasingly agitated, tried to commit suicide and attacked officers with the large blade.

When he ran from the house and again attacked officers, police fired a Taser at him which was only partially successful. A further Taser was discharged, allowing police to take the man into custody.

He was taken to hospital for routine checks and found to have suffered no after-effects of the use of the Tasers other than minor bruising. He was subsequently convicted of assault and breach of the peace.

The commissioner, Professor John McNeill, said: "Following my investigation, I am satisfied that the use of the Tasers was proportionate and justified.

"It allowed police to safely control the man, recover weapons and ensure that he did not seriously injure either himself, members of the public or officers. In the circumstances, there was no less forceful method to resolve this incident safely."

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