When 55-year-old Alzheimer’s sufferer Peter Russell was ‘tasered’ by police as they attempted to take him to hospital, it was a desperately sad episode in a domestic drama that began with his diagnosis three years ago.
According to the Daily Mail, after Russell began ‘pushing’ his wife Diane, 50, doctors decided to section him under the Mental Health Act to review his dementia treatment.
However, on March 6, when two nurses and a psychiatrist visited the couple’s home, Peter became agitated at hearing talk of him going to hospital.
Her advice apparently went unheeded, as later that afternoon six officers tackled the former farm worker, shooting him with a Taser him several times after Mr Russell reportedly subjected them to ‘a significant level of violence’.
Mrs Russell, of Epworth, North Lincolnshire, said: ‘He was fighting them off because he didn’t want to go to hospital. He was petrified and scared. He was shouting “get off” as they carried him. I was going mental and I remember saying “it’s not him, it’s the Alzheimer’s”.
According to The Sun, the Alzheimer’s Society charity have criticised the police, saying that using the weapon on a dementia sufferer must have been “very alarming” and “particularly distressing”.
Spokeswoman Sarah Moody said: “The Alzheimer’s Society is very alarmed at the use of a Taser gun on a vulnerable person with early onset dementia, which must have been a particularly distressing experience for the gentleman concerned."
Talking about the incident, mum-of-two Diane, added: “There was no need to use the Taser.
"If he was a wife beater or an armed robber then I could understand it but this is someone who will stop his tractor when ploughing a field and move a nest of mice to the side."
According to reports, Peter Russell was shot with several Taser stun rounds, before being manhandled into a police van - carried outside ‘like a bag of potatoes'.
Two months later, Peter is still receiving psychiatric treatment in hospital and his wife Diane remains traumatised, saying she has spoken out ‘to prevent other families suffering the same needless ordeal’.