High Court ruling due on police watchdog application to have own report quashed


The High Court rules today on an application by the Independent Police Complaints Commission to quash the police watchdog's own report clearing police officers of any serious wrongdoing following the death of a man shortly after he was Tasered.

Factory worker Jordon Begley, 23, from Gorton, Manchester, died in July 2013 two hours after being shot at his home with a 50,000 volt stun gun from a distance of 28in (70cm). He was also punched and restrained by armed officers, who believed he had a knife.

In the first case of its kind, lawyers for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) say the report on the investigation into Mr Begley's death is legally flawed and there should be "a new and lawful" investigation.

The report under challenge concluded no officers should be prosecuted or face misconduct proceedings. The officers involved are opposing the IPCC request to have it overturned.

Jeremy Johnson QC, appearing for both the IPCC and its chief executive, said at a recent hearing there had been "a serious departure" from statutory requirements, and the investigator who prepared the report had not applied the correct legal test and did not accurately summarise the evidence, or attach or refer to all relevant documents from the investigation.

The QC told Lord Justice Elias and Mr Justice Males a new investigation was the appropriate way of vindicating the right of Dorothy Begley, the mother of the dead man, to a proper inquiry under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

An inquest jury delivered a narrative verdict in July 2015, saying Mr Begley had been "inappropriately and unreasonably" Tasered and restrained. The jury found officers were "more concerned with their own welfare" than Mr Begley's.

Hugh Davies QC, appearing for the officers, argued no compelling basis had been demonstrated for a re-investigation.

Mr Davies said: "No credible witness has established a case of misconduct against the officers during what was a violent and threatening event."

He also said a further investigation would be unfair because of the delay involved. Four of the officers had already been placed on restricted duties, on and off, for over three years at an important stage of their careers.