'I thought I was going to die': Blind man who was shot with a 50,000-volt Taser stun gun by police launches compensation bid

 

A blind, double stroke victim is launching a bid for compensation after police mistook his white stick for a samurai sword and shot him in the back with a 50,000-volt Taser gun.

Colin Farmer was on his way to meet friends at a pub in Chorley, Lancashire at 5.45pm last Friday when a police officer allegedly approached him from behind, shouted for him to stop, then shot him in the back with the Taser.

The 61-year-old initially thought he was being attacked by muggers and cried out “I’m blind, I’m blind” as he collapsed on the floor, but was still handcuffed by the Lancashire Police Officer.

Police had originally been called to the street after receiving reports of a man armed with a deadly martial arts weapon walking around the town centre.

The officer involved claims he called to Mr Farmer to stop, but when he carried on walking ahead the officer fired his weapon only to realise his mistake.

Today Mr Farmer’s solicitors confirmed he was planning to launch a civil claim against Lancashire police.

In a statement, they said Mr Farmer had instructed Sophie Khan of McMillan Williams Solicitors to represent him “in his civil claim for compensation against Lancashire Constabulary”.

The statement said: “Mr Farmer, who is registered blind/partially sighted and has suffered two strokes in the past, was Tasered by Chorley police officers on Friday October 12 whilst he was out walking in the late afternoon.

”The officers mistook Mr Farmer's white walking stick for a samurai sword and as a result Tasered Mr Farmer in the back.

“The officer involved has yet to be suspended from carrying a Taser despite the fact that the officer involved would need to be investigated for both disciplinary proceedings and criminal assault on Mr Farmer.

”The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) have indicated that they are conducting an investigation and McMillan Williams will be writing to the IPCC to find out what steps they are taking regarding this serious incident.“

Mr Farmer was taken to hospital for treatment after being Tasered, and was later released. He claims the force used in the arrest left him bruised, and broke a family heirloom bracelet which had belonged to his grandfather during the First World War.

The retired company director, who has suffered two strokes in the past, claims the Taser could have killed him, and said he wants the officer responsible 'sacked, charged and locked-up' after his 'real-life nightmare'.

“This Taser could have killed me and if something happens to me a result of the shock I got, I hope the officer will be done for manslaughter,” he said.

He went on: “I'm now scared of walking on my own outside now and so jumpy I have not been sleeping since. The whole thing was like being trapped in a real-life nightmare.”

The father of five, who has two grandchildren and reportedly walks “at a snail’s pace”, has made a formal complaint and said he intends to take legal action against Lancashire Constabulary, which has issued an apology and launched an investigation.

Telling the Daily Mail about the frightening situation last week, Mr Farmer said: “I was honestly going to die and they were going to kill me. All my muscles turned to dust and I thought I was having another stroke.”

“In my opinion this officer was a man on a mission he was going to use that gun no matter what. The stress of this could still kill me in six months if I have another stroke and the police would have blood on their hands.”

Lancashire Police has said it “extremely sorry” for putting Mr Farmer through the 'traumatic' experience.

Chief Superintendent Stuart Williams, of Chorley Police, said the matter had been referred to the Independent Police Complains Commission.

He added that officers attended to Mr Farmer 'straight away' when it became apparent he was not the offender they were looking for.

“Officers have remained in contact with him and his family over the past few days to enquire about his recovery and we will continue to keep in touch with him and keep him informed of our inquiry.”

Following the incident a 27-year-old man was arrested in Chorley on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, but later released without charge.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living