Police officer who tasered Llanelli ex-soldier avoids further action following investigation

Mr Beynon collapsed after being hit with a Taser by a police officer.

A police officer who tasered an ex-soldier will not face any further action following an investigation, the IOPC has confirmed.

Spencer Beynon, from Llanelli, died after being tasered by police officers when they were called over concerns about his behaviour in 2016.

The 43-year-old, who had served with the Royal Welsh Regiment, had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after his tours of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers responded to a report from a neighbour on July 14, 2016 of a man walking down a road barefoot holding a cannabis pipe, and found Mr Beynon in a nearby street with a neck wound.

He later collapsed after being hit with a Taser, with officers claiming they had deployed the weapon after he had shown "aggression" towards them.

At the end of a two-week inquest held in Llanelli, a jury returned a conclusion of death by misadventure.

Dyfed Powys Police said Mr Beynon showed signs of "aggression". Credit: PA

The pathologist who carried out the post mortem explained: "The most significant pathological finding is of incised wounds to the neck (a 'cut throat'), having the appearance of self-inflicted injury in keeping with having been caused by broken glass. A 'cut throat’ provides an adequate explanation for cardiac arrest and death due to external blood loss."

Following the incident, CCTV footage was independently investigated but no interaction between the police and Mr Beynon was captured, not was there any body-cam footage.

In addition, a phone call from Mr Beynon’s father to Dyfed-Powys Police on the morning of the incident was analysed, which expressed concern for his son's welfare who had been suffering the effects of PTSD.

The investigation considered concerns raised by Mr Beynon’s family about the use of a Taser and the police response after this call. It found insufficient evidence to bring any disciplinary proceedings against the officer.

The investigation did however acknowledge that the phone call from Mr Beynon’s father to the police could have been grader a higher response and that more information could have been recorded on police systems. But it went on to conclude that there was insufficient evidence to bring any disciplinary proceedings against the call handler, who is now retired.

Mr Beynon became unresponsive after the incident and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The police officer who tasered Mr Beynon said he did so for his own safety, the safety of other officers and for the public. Mr Beynon was said to have "smashed a window, threatened someone with acid and acted erratically in the street".

The medical expert, consulted for the investigation, stated: "I believe that a severed internal jugular vein represents a very severe injury and Spencer Beynon would have died in these circumstances from blood loss regardless of the use of Taser’. He added that he had no concerns about the care offered by police officers to Mr Beynon and that by the time of his collapse ‘his condition was irretrievable’."

IOPC Director for Wales, Catrin Evans, said: "I offer my deepest sympathies to Spencer Beynon’s family and friends for their devastating loss. Mr Beynon was sadly suffering from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder after having served in the army for a number of years.

"Evidence gathered by the IPCC investigation indicated that Mr Beynon had suffered a self-inflicted catastrophic neck wound by the time police officers arrived. Officers faced a dynamic situation and the investigation found insufficient evidence to justify any disciplinary proceedings against any officer."

The report by the IPCC suggested an area of learning for Dyfed-Powys Police around the resourcing of the mental health triage team and consideration on how "out of hours" cases that raise mental health concerns are handled.