06/07/2015 17:28 BST | Updated 06/07/2016 06:12 BST

Taser Contributed To Man's Death

A factory worker died partly as a result of being shot with a Taser and restrained by police officers, an inquest jury has concluded.

Jordon Begley, 23, was shot with the 50,000 volt stun gun and hit with "distraction strikes" while being restrained and handcuffed by three armed officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP). He died in hospital around two hours later, at 10pm on July 10, 2013.

While the initial Taser shock did not cause his heart to stop, the jury concluded that the use of the Taser and the restraint "more than materially contributed" to a "package" of stressful factors leading to Mr Begley's fatal cardiac arrest, the inquest at Manchester Civil Courts of Justice heard.

In damning conclusions, the jury also said the officer who pulled the trigger, Pc Terence Donnelly, inappropriately and unreasonably used the stun gun for longer than was necessary.

And after Mr Begley struggled and was restrained by armed police they were "more concerned with their own welfare than his," the jury said.

Tasers have never been ruled to have directly caused a death in a UK inquest involving police use of the stun gun.

But today's verdict, following a five week hearing, is believed to be the first time in the UK a jury has ruled that a Taser and restraint contributed to a fatality.

Mr Begley's family are now intending to sue GMP.

His mother, Dorothy Begley, 47, who gave evidence during the inquest, left the courtroom in tears as the jury's conclusions were read out.

The conclusions are likely to re-open criticism of the increasing use of Tasers as a "less lethal" option than guns for police.

Since the introduction of Tasers in 2003, Home Office figures show its use has increased by more than 200%, with one in 10 officers now armed with a Taser and more than 10,000 Taser incidents in England and Wales in 2013.

In a lengthy narrative conclusion, the jury ruled Mr Begley's alcoholism, intoxication at the time of the incident and confrontation with police were part of the "package of stressors" leading to the fatal heart attack.

But they also ruled the discharge of the Taser and restraint were also stressor factors that "more than materially contributed to the death of Jordon Begley".

The jury also concluded Pc Donnelly pulling the trigger for eight seconds was "not reasonable in the circumstances".

Mr Begley, who weighed around 10 stone, also offered "minimal resistance" and there was "no need" for one officer to punch him a second time in a "distraction strike" as they handcuffed him.

And he was also left too long, face down with his hands cuffed behind his back by the armed officers present.

The jury concluded: "They were more concerned for their own welfare than Jordon."

Mr Begley died after up to 11 police officers raced to his home during a row with neighbours at around 8pm on July 10, 2013.

He was hit with the Taser, equipped with laser sights, from a distance of 70 centimetres (27 ins).

Mr Begley, who worked in an ice cream factory, had been accused of stealing a neighbour's handbag and a row developed in the street, before he went back inside the house he shared with his mother.

His mother called 999 as her son, a heavy drinker who also used cocaine and cannabis, grabbed a knife and was threatening to use it.

This resulted in a ''Grade One'' police response to the call to the family's mid-terrace house on Beard Road in Gorton, central Manchester.

Mr Begley told officers: "I don't give a f*** who you are, get out of my f****** house!"

Pc Donnelly opened fire with the Taser because he was worried Mr Begley might have a knife on him and the suspect took "one step too far" towards him despite orders to stand back.

The officer told the hearing he pulled the trigger after Mr Begley put his hands in his jogging pants' pockets and walked towards him.

Mr Begley was infact unarmed.

As Mr Begley was hit with the barbs of the Taser, armed police units arrived and "burst" into the room, to restrain Mr Begley who resisted and a struggle ensued.

Much of the evidence centred on how Mr Begley was then restrained and handcuffed and the differing accounts between the seven officers present.

Pc Dave Graham, Pc Christopher Mills and Pc Peter Fox all took part in the restraint and handcuffing.

Pc Lee Moore, told the inquest Pc Fox and Pc Mills were trying to handcuff Mr Begley, with the latter kneeling on his shoulder, with Pc Graham assisting.

Pc Mills applied two "distraction strikes" to Mr Begley's upper back using a clenched fist, which is standard police procedure in such a situation.

The jury heard Mr Begley was then handcuffed and the officers had a ''Hamlet moment" to "gather themselves" - evidence disputed by the most senior officer present who said they followed standard procedure of "cuff, roll and search" and did not leave Mr Begley face down on the floor.

After being handcuffed, Mr Begley's breathing changed to "abnormal" and another officer noticed a "golf ball sized" bump over his right eye and the imprint of the carpet on his face.

The officers took off his handcuffs, turned him over, ripped off his shirt and began chest compressions while one policeman went to fetch a trauma kit from a squad car. Two officers left the room "visibly distressed".

Mr Begley was also given oxygen and a defibrillator was used before paramedics arrived.

Outside the house Mrs Begley then saw an ambulance arrive and her son being stretchered from her home and taken to hospital.

Shortly after arriving at Manchester Royal Infirmary she was told her son was dead.

He was later found to have 67 different injuries, including bruising and marks to his face, elbows and shoulders and the pattern of the carpet in the dining room imprinted on his face.