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Tasered Blind Man Colin Farmer To Sue Police

October 22, 2012

A blind man who was Tasered by a police officer in Lancashire when his white stick was mistaken for a sword is suing the force.

Colin Farmer, 62, was stunned by a policeman after reports were made of a man walking through Chorley with a samurai sword on 12 October.

Ch Supt Stuart Williams said the force “deeply regrets” the incident and an urgent investigation was under way.

Mr Farmer was taken to hospital for treatment and later discharged.

McMillan Williams Solicitors, which describes itself as a specialist in Taser-related injuries, is representing Mr Farmer in his civil claim for compensation.

Taser withdrawn

His solicitor Sophie Khan said: “I have spoken to Lancashire Police and the IPCC this morning and I will be writing to them later this afternoon.”

Lancashire Police said it had not received any paperwork yet.

A force spokesman said the incident was being investigated and the officer’s Taser had been withdrawn.

The case has also been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Mr Farmer, who is registered blind and has suffered two strokes, said he had thought he was being attacked by thugs when it had happened.

He was walking to a pub to meet friends at the time and said the Tasering had forced him to drop his stick and fall to the ground.

He said the experience had left him “shaking like a leaf” and scared to go outside.

Ch Supt Williams said the police force had “clearly put this man through a traumatic experience”.

Failed to stop

He said the force had “received a number of reports that a man was walking through Chorley armed with a samurai sword”.

A policeman thought he had found the suspect and discharged the Taser after the man failed to stop at the officer’s request, Ch Supt Williams said.

Mr Farmer was taken to Chorley Hospital after it “became apparent that this man was not the person we were looking for”.

A man carrying a samurai sword was later arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.

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