A RETIRED 74-year-old local government oficer was Tasered in his own home – after a parking row which has cost him £2,222.
Steven Laurence, 74, assaulted Pc Michael Ingram as the officer tried to arrest him in the hallway of his Victorian home in Beverley Road, Driffield, Hull Crown Court heard.
Laurence was hit with the electric barbs of the battery-powered stun gun and given 50,000 volts by Sgt Rachel Shrimpton as he turned violent.
The two police officers had gone to Laurence’s home to ask why he had jumped on a car which had been parked illegally in a disabled parking bay.
During a struggle, Sgt Shrimpton took the decision to shoot the pensioner with the Taser.
The barbs penetrated his skin discharging a shock which Mr Laurence told the court sent his pulse to 200 beats per minute as he collapsed.
He said: “I was very frightened. My heart was going berserk. At hospital I was told my heart was missing beats and I was likely to have a heart attack.”
Laurence was charged and convicted by magistrates at Bridlington of causing criminal damage on October 4 2011 and assaulting a police officer.
He fought a two-day appeal at Hull Crown Court on Jan 3 and 4.
The appeal heariung heard how saga began when Laurence and his wife drove to Boots the chemist on Middle Street, Driffield, to find a disabled parking bay occupied by a vehicle containing Mr Martin Calam, his girlfriend and her child.
Mr Calam was not entitled to park there, despite having a child, the court was told.
Laurence challenged Mr Calam about not displaying a badge and was allegedly told by Mr Calam to “f***off.”
At this point, Laurence decided to stand in front of Mr Calam’s car, preventing him from leaving in the hope a police officer would arrive.
Eyewitness Sandra Harrison told the court Laurence was very angry and the woman was saying “Please move. We want to go.”
“She told him not to be silly and get out of the way. The car edged forward and he jumped up and sat on the bonnet,” said Ms Harrison.
Laurence denied he had jumped up and claimed he was carried down the street – which a judge ruled was not the truth..
Police went to Laurence’s door on October 26 last year to take a statement from him about what had happened in Middle Street.
Laurence did not want to leave his wife in the house in case she died and was described as angry by Sgt Shrimpton, who explained that he was obstructive and would not listen to requests to arrange a formal interview.
She said she took his left arm and Pc Ingram took his right arm before a struggle began and Laurence kicked out like a child and Pc Ingram went down.
Sgt Shrimpton said Laurence’s was struggling with PC Ingram after he got up.
She shot him with the barbed darts which she said went into his right shoulder.
During the hearing, Laurence claimed he was the victim of a police conspiracy to hide CCTV, give false testimony and protect Mr Calam as a police informer. He said Sgt Shrimpton had lied about where she had shot him.
Judge Michael Mettyear, sitting with two magistrates, told Laurence his conspiracy theories were flights of fantasy and he was much stronger than he claimed. He said Laurence had not listened to the police who were asking him for a statement and only heard what he wanted to hear
Judge Mettyear said: “We accepted Sgt Shrimpton had no choice, but to arrest him. He accepts he was resisting arrest. We accept he kicked out and therefore assaulted a police officer.”
“We are not in a position to say that the Tasering was justified or not. That is not part of our job. That is for others to decide.”
Judge Mettyear rejected the appeal and ordered Laurence should pay £722 in compensation for the damage, £300 fine for assaulting a police officer, £800 costs of the first trial at Bridlington Magistrates’ Court and £400 for the two-day hearing at Hull Crown Court.
Laurence said he could not pay the fine.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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