Page last updated at 15:59 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Police used stun gun on man, 89

Police have said a decision to use a Taser gun to control an 89-year-old man was necessary as he was threatening to cut his throat with a piece of glass.

Officers from the North Wales force said the incident happened after the man had absconded from a care home.

It was decided the use of a 50,000 volt stun gun was the "most appropriate" option to protect him during the incident at Llandudno, Conwy.

The man was taken to hospital where he was treated for minor glass injuries.

A spokeswoman for the force said the incident happened at 0630 GMT on Saturday after police received a report "expressing concern for the safety of an elderly man who had absconded from a care home in Llandudno".

Police later found the man, who has not been named, in Abbey Road, Llandudno, where he was threatening to cut his own throat with a piece of glass, she said.

"He was believed to be suicidal," the spokeswoman said.

'Diabolical way'

"In all the circumstances the specially trained officers made the judgement, in order to protect the life of the man, that the use of Taser was the safest and most appropriate option.

"This was successfully done and the man was taken to Llandudno Hospital to be treated for minor glass injuries," she added.

The man was later transferred to the care Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor.

His sister said she was lodging a complaint because she thought it was a "diabolical way to treat an old man".

His nephew, an engineer, said he had gone into a care home about three weeks ago and had walked out within a few days and again on Saturday.

Excruciating pain

He said his uncle had been fit until about a year ago, but then had deteriorated and found it difficult to cope.

However, he was now recovering well in hospital.

He said his uncle, who is unmarried, could recall the excruciating pain of the Taser and had said he had been very frightened.

The family felt the police should have tried other methods and considered it a miracle he did not have a heart attack on the spot, he added.

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