GMP police officer admits common assault for repeated use of Taser
Greater Manchester Police Constable Phillip Smith pleaded guilty to common assault at Preston Crown Court on Friday 10 September. PC Smith’s conviction follows our investigation into his repeated use of Taser on a handcuffed man in June 2018.
PC Smith was with a group of officers who had attended the man’s address in Dukinfield because of concerns for his welfare.
PC Smith was handed a conditional discharge for 18 months and ordered to pay his victim £250 compensation. We completed our investigation in June 2019 and referred a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS originally authorised a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in June 2020.
IOPC Regional Director Amanda Rowe said:
“PC Smith repeatedly Tasered a man at a time when he posed no threat to him or his colleagues. While the man was Tasered five times, the evidence indicated there was no justification for its use on the last three occasions during which time the man had already been restrained and was handcuffed. At that point his use of Taser was gratuitous and amounted to an assault in the eyes of the law. It is clear and the judge acknowledged that PC Smith lost his temper.
“While Taser is undoubtedly a valuable tool for keeping both the public and the police safe, there was no justification for its repeated use. The officer will now also face gross misconduct disciplinary proceedings to be arranged by the force, and which could ultimately result in his dismissal.”
In August 2021 the IOPC published a review into 101 Taser investigations and made a number of national recommendations to policing bodies to improve national guidance, training and scrutiny.