Colin Farmer

Prosecutors consider taser charges

Police officers could face criminal charges after a blind man was shot with a Taser when his white stick was mistaken for a Samurai sword.

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Biker dies in Chorley crash

Police are appealing for witnesses after a motorcyclist died following a crash in Chorley on Saturday.

It happened at around 1.35pm, at the junction of Wigan Lane and Duxbury Hall Road when an Audi A6 and a Triumph Daytona 675 collided.

The rider of the bike, 45 year old Simon Williams from Chorley, was pronounced dead at the scene.

An investigation into this collision is now underway and our thoughts are with Mr Williams’ family at this incredibly said time.

“We did speak with a number of witnesses at the scene, but if you saw this collision and haven’t yet spoken to police then please get in touch with us.”

– Sergeant Rob Gomery

Crime Commissioner says improved training vital for officers with tasers

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said:

"This was a deeply regrettable incident, and it is only right the officer should offer a personal apology to Mr Farmer for his actions.

"I welcome the outcome of the IPCC's investigation, which clearly shows there are lessons to be learnt. This was an unacceptable incident in which the officer's standards fell far below what is expected from members of Lancashire Constabulary.

The force's panel has made a clear recommendation around the training which should be given to officers who carry tasers, and as Police and Crime Commissioner I am committed to ensuring that recommendation is acted upon.

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Police officer who tasered grandfather 'made a dreadful mistake'

Lancashire Police say the officer who tasered a grandfather failed to perform his duties to a satisfactory standard, but his actions did not amount to gross incompetence.

“I would like to sincerely apologise to Mr Farmer on behalf of the Constabulary for what happened and the resulting distress and anxiety he undoubtedly suffered.

The officer made a dreadful mistake when he discharged his Taser, but was acting on a reasonable and honestly held belief that his actions were necessary to protect the public. The officer did not perform his duties to a satisfactory standard but this did not amount to gross incompetence.

– Assitant Chief Constable Tim Jacques, Lancashire Police

The officer will be issued with a Written Improvement Notice and be required to demonstrate specific performance improvements over a set timescale.

Additionally the officer has expressed considerable regret over this incident and arrangements will be made for him to offer a personal apology to Mr Farmer.

Police officer who tasered a partially sighted man told to apologise

Colin Farmer walking in Chorley with his white stick
Colin Farmer Credit: ITV Granada

An IPCC investigation into police officer who fired Taser at partially-sighted man in Lancashire says he has a case to answer for gross misconduct.

PC Stuart Wright faced a gross incompetency meeting after an independent IPCC investigation into his decision to discharge Taser on Colin Farmer in October 2012 in Peter Street in Chorley

Mr Famer, then 63, was walking away from PC Wright and posed no threat, the IPCC investigation found. The officer claimed he mistook him for a sword-carrying man that had been reported to Lancashire Constabulary by members of the public.

Mr Farmer, who had been walking with the aid of a white stick, was handcuffed while lying on the ground and was not released until the arrival of another officer, who PC Wright told: "I think I’ve got the wrong person”.

The IPCC report found that PC Wright

• ignored instructions and radio transmissions about how officers were to search the area and respond to any sightings of a man with a sword

• failed to take reasonable steps to ascertain if Mr Farmer was carrying a sword prior to Taser discharge

• failed to comply with local and national guidelines in relation to the use of Taser

• used a level of force on Mr Farmer that was unnecessary and disproportionate to the circumstances

• caused further distress to Mr Farmer by detaining him in handcuffs despite it being obvious he had the wrong man

The IPCC recommended the officer had a case to answer for gross misconduct.

Council tax freeze for Chorley

Council tax will be frozen in Chorley for the second year running The authority's budget was agreed on Tuesday night as bosses aim to help local businesses and residents.

“We are facing extremely difficult times managing our finances like everyone else so we’ve set the budget with that in mind.

“We’ve faced a huge cut in our government grant of 13.5 per cent (£879,000) so not only have we been looking at how we can save money and do things more efficiently, it’s important that the council looks at ways of generating more income.

“The best example of this is the purchase of Market Walk – that provides us with an income of £500,000 per year and has helped us to balance the books so we can freeze council tax.”

– Councillor Peter Wilson, Deputy Leader of Chorley Council

The council say investment in priorities identified by local people will reach £4.1 million since 2013, with an emphasis on creating new jobs, supporting the local economy and helping those struggling with their finances. They include:

  • Work starting on major improvements to Astley Park, including the play area
  • Re-opening of the former eyesore McDonald’s site as four retail units
  • £1 million investment in improving Market Street as part of the Asda developmen
  • A campaign to bring more investment into the borough and create more jobs for local people

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Man's body found in Chorley

An investigation is underway in Chorley after the body of a man was found in a street this morning.

Police received a call from a member of the public reporting that they had found a body lying in the street on Gillibrands Walks.

The man is believed to be aged in his 50s and his death is currently being treated as unexplained.

A post mortem examination will be carried out later this afternoon.

Gillibrands Walks remains sealed off whilst police carry out an investigation.

Firm fined after employee turned into 'fireball'

A mechanic is lucky to be alive after becoming a human fireball. Lee Roberts from Wigan suffered severe burns when he was about to empty fuel from a vehicle.

Today the Chorley car salvage firm was fined 40 thousand pounds for a series of health and safety failings and told to pay 25 thousand in prosecution costs. Matt O'Donoghue has the story

Care home provider prosecuted over 'fish and chips death'

The UK’s biggest care home provider will be prosecuted after a resident choked to death on fish and chips in Chorley.

Rita Smit, 75, choked after being give the meal at the home, despite having swallowing difficulties.

A Health and Safety Executive statement said:

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is bringing criminal proceedings against Four Seasons Health Care (England) Ltd following the incident at Euxton Park Care Home on 1 December 2010.

Rita Smith, who suffered from the early onset of dementia and motor neuron disease, should only have eaten pureed food supervised by a carer as she suffered from swallowing difficulties and was at risk of choking. However, the 75-year-old was given fish and chips during a film and supper evening.

Four Seasons Health Care (England) Ltd, which runs more than 500 care homes and specialist care centres in the UK, has been charged with breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The company, of Groves Road in Douglas, Isle of Man, is due to appear before Preston Magistrates’ Court on Friday 18 October 2013 for the first hearing in the case.

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