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Barrow man Dale Burns was not killed by police Taser, jury finds
5:19pm Thursday 7th February 2013 in News
An inquest into the death of Barrow man Dave Burns found that the action taken by police to Taser him did not contribute to his death.
Dale Burns, who was 27, died in Furness General Hospital in August 2011.
Superintendent Mark Pannone, south area Commander, said: “The last few weeks have been extremely difficult for all involved and our thoughts and condolences continue to be with Dale Burns’ family and friends.
“Today’s verdict, delivered by the Jury confirmed that the action police took on 16 August 2011 did not contribute to Dale Burns’ death. He died as a result of MDPV toxicity.
“The Jury found that Dale Burn’s struggle against restraints was not a contributory cause to his death.
“The Jury found that the actions of the police which lead to Dale Burns having to be restrained were appropriate in the circumstances.”
An 11-strong jury heard evidence from around 50 witnesses.
Supt Pannone continued: “The inquest has heard detailed accounts from a range of witnesses over the last two and a half weeks including family members, police officers, medical staff, witnesses and expert witnesses, who all provided an insight into the last few hours of Dale Burns’ life.
“This whole process has been very distressing and along with Dale’s family and friends, my thoughts have also been with the police officers involved in the incident that day. They have had every aspect of their response scrutinised at the highest possible level, and it is reassuring to hear experts confirm that police officers could not have done anything differently to prevent Dale’s death and that they were not in any way responsible.
“This Inquest has illustrated the challenges police officers face on a daily basis, especially when they are confronted by people who are under the influence of so called "designer" drugs who display what one of the experts described as "superhuman" strength. The evidence at the inquest highlighted the dangers of MDPV, which is a Class B drug also known as MCAT, MADCAT, Plant Food and Ivory Wave. These are not “safe” drugs. For Mr Burns, MDPV was lethal.
“I also welcome the findings of the investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission which has stated that Cumbria Constabulary officers acted correctly in their handling of the incident involving Dale Burns on the 16th August 2011.
“Cumbria Constabulary representatives listened with care to the evidence heard at the inquest and, in addition to any recommendations the Coroner may choose to make in relation to the policies, procedures or training by Cumbria Constabulary, we will ensure that any other lessons learned from this experience are addressed.
“We hope that his family and friends are able to find some closure now that the inquest has come to an end.”