Met Police officer cleared of gross misconduct after tasering 10-year-old girl

November 30, 2023 11:30 AM AEDT | By PAMEDIA
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A Metropolitan Police constable who tasered a 10-year-old girl brandishing garden shears has been cleared of gross misconduct by a disciplinary panel.

Pc Jonathan Broadhead fired his Taser at the girl twice within seconds of entering her home in south-west London on January 21 2021, after her mother called 999 when the child threatened her with a hammer and the shears.

He was accused of using force “which was not necessary, reasonable and proportionate” against the girl, referred to as Child A during his Met Police gross misconduct hearing at Palestra House in London.

But on Thursday the panel’s chairwoman, Catherine Elliot said: “Having considered the evidence in great detail… the panel has concluded that Pc Broadhead’s use of Taser on Child A was necessary, reasonable and proportionate in all the circumstances. The allegations are therefore not proved.”

The facts of the case were not disputed but Pc Broadhead argued “Taser was the best option I had” after the girl “armed” herself with the shears on his arrival, posing a risk to him and others in the house.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, he said: “I was worried what her intentions were with the shears, why, as soon as she’d seen us, she’d picked the shears up. I was worried what she was going to do with them.”

Olivia Checa-Dover, presenting the case for the Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog, argued Child A posed “no immediate threat” and claimed her age was not properly factored into Pc Broadhead’s decision making.

The child’s mother, Miss A, previously said she was “shocked” by “the way things were handled” by Pc Broadhead, who she hoped would help verbally de-escalate the situation.

Body-worn footage played during the hearing showed how Pc Broadhead said “Put it down now” three times, referring to the shears, and “Police officer, Taser” before tasering the girl as she tried to go upstairs.

Miss A called police after Child A threatened her with the tools after she confiscated her mobile phone due to a safeguarding concern, the panel previously heard.

She feared the girl’s behaviour may have been affected by consuming cannabis edibles and on Monday said that Child A hit her with the hammer after she called 999.

The incident left Child A with “three barbs in her skin” which had to be removed by paramedics and she spent a night in hospital, Ms Checa-Dover previously said.


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