Hearing into Chorley Taser shooting

BLIND: Colin Farmer’s white stick was mistaken for a samuri sword

BLIND: Colin Farmer’s white stick was mistaken for a samuri sword

First published in News Chorley Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A police officer who fired a Taser at a blind man after mistaking his white stick for a samurai sword is to face a hearing in front of an assistant chief constable.

Colin Farmer, 64, said that after being hit by the Taser he was violently manhandled on the floor and handcuffed by the officer.

At the time of the incident police were responding to reports of a man with a sword being seen in Chorley town centre.

Mr Farmer was Tasered at point blank range, making him fall to the ground, as he walked to his local pub.

In August last year, the Crown Prosecution Service announced no criminal charges were to be brought against the male officer involved.

Now following a recommendation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, Lancashire police have confirmed there will be a two-day performance hearing to investigate the officer’s conduct in March. Mr Farmer, who had previously suffered two strokes, said he welcomed the hearing and would be attending on the advice of his solicitor.

He said: “I just want there to be an acknowledgement that what he did wasn’t right.

“To put it simply I was assaulted quite brutally and the full facts of why this happened have never been fully explained to me.”

Sophie Khan, Mr Farmer's solicitor, said: “It is hoped that the hearing will shed light on why the officer Tasered my client and what action Lancashire police will take against their officer.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: “A performance hearing will be held for the officer on March 24 and 25.

“Mr Farmer will be invited to the hearing which will be chaired by an assistant chief constable.

“We continue to work closely with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, as we have from the outset.”

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