One-legged man, 93, in care home dies after being pepper sprayed and Tasered by police | The Sun

A PENSIONER armed with a knife inside a care home was killed after being pepper sprayed and Tasered by police.

Donald Burgess, a 93-year-old dementia sufferer with one leg, died three weeks after he was disarmed and handcuffed by police in June.

Cops were called to the St Leonards-on-Sea care home in East Sussex after reports of an elderly man with dementia holding a knife and threatening staff.

When two officers arrived they found he was confined to a wheelchair, holding the knife.

After engaging with him briefly one of the officers pepper sprayed him, and then used his baton on him while the second officer tasered him.

They disarmed the elderly man before handcuffing him.


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He was taken to hospital for treatment but died on July 13, three weeks after the incident.

Sussex Police voluntarily referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) who have launched an enquiry.

The two officers – both police constables from Sussex Police – have been told they are under criminal investigation for manslaughter.

They have each been handed gross misconduct notices.

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The IOPC said initial steps carried out in the investigation include taking witness statements and reviewing the officers’ body worn video footage.

It will include finding answers as to whether or not the force used by police was justified.

Officials also attended the post mortem on July 21 and await the findings of further cardio-pathology examinations, as the cause of Mr Burgess’ death is not yet known.

Graham Beesley, IOPC Regional Director, expressed his sympathies to the man’s relatives and those who knew him.

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He said: "We have advised his next-of-kin of our independent investigation and explained the steps we will be taking.

“This will include investigating whether the force used by the two officers against this male, was reasonable, necessary and proportionate in the circumstances and in line with local and national policies, procedures and guidance."

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