Taser fired at Darren Cumberbatch was not "effective", says police officer

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A taser officer with West Midlands police has been describing the moment he fired his weapon at Darren Cumberbatch, who died nine days later.

PC Craig Griffiths told the inquest into Mr Cumberbatch’s death he did not think the discharge was “effective”.

He told jurors one of the taser’s two barbs made contact with Mr Cumberbatch but he did not see where the other barb went. For a current to be established both barbs must hit the subject.

“There was a minor response. He stumbled backwards. It bought us a few seconds,” PC Griffiths said, before describing how three other colleagues entered the toilet cubicle.

He also told the jury that Mr Cumberbatch was holding a fifteen-inch metal towel rail and that he discharged his taser to prevent himself and others being attacked.

Records show that PC Griffiths fired his taser at 12:54 am. A colleague, PC Jones, fired his weapon twice two minutes later.

PC Griffiths said he also heard PC Jones shout the word ‘PAVA’, and took that as an indication he was about to use the PAVA synthetic pepper spray carried by police.

The hearing continues.