March 9 2014 Latest news:
By Kate Scotter
Thursday, January 30, 2014
A man who was assaulted close to his Dereham home is set to appeal against a police report which states a Taser was justifiably used against him.
Steven Bradley, 47, of Charles Close, Toftwood, was the victim of an assault in April last year. The 47-year-old said he was out walking his dogs when he was hit around the head with a piece of wood close to the park near Recreation Road at about 10am.
Police and ambulance crews were alerted to the attack and attended his home.
Mr Bradley, who had a stroke six months before the assault and still suffers from subsequent brain injuries, said he became anxious with the number of people in his home and claims, out of frustration, started to punch a wall.
As a result, he was stunned by police with a Taser.
Mr Bradley complained about the use of the device to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which referred it back to Norfolk Constabulary for investigation. But last week, Mr Bradley received a report, saying its use was “justified and proportionate given the threatening behaviour displayed during the incident”.
Now, Mr Bradley says he will appeal against the decision.
Police officials, however, have maintained that the use of the stun gun was justified.
Father-of-two Mr Bradley, who is divorced and no longer works after his stroke, said: “I was made out to be the criminal because I got frustrated in my own home.
“I was made out to be the criminal when I was the victim and I had done nothing wrong.
“Admittedly, I punched the wall in frustration but I was standing with my back to everyone.”
Mr Bradley, who used to work at Bernard Matthews and is on medication since his stroke, said there were four police officers, a paramedic plus ambulance staff in his house at the time.
A Norfolk police spokesman said: “Police and ambulance attended a property on Charles Close in Toftwood on April 16, 2013, to visit a man who had been assaulted a short time earlier.
“Whilst at the property, the man became aggressive and to ensure his safety and the safety of those in attendance, a Taser was discharged.
“Following this, the man was able to receive treatment for his assault injuries from paramedics.
“A complaint about the Taser use was received by Norfolk Constabulary in November 2013 from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to whom it was made.
“The complaint was passed back to the IPCC which then referred it back to Norfolk Constabulary for local investigation.
“An investigation by Norfolk’s Professional Standards Department did not uphold the complaint, finding that the use of the Taser was justified and proportionate given the threatening behaviour displayed during the incident.”