Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We'll Still Use Baton Guns during Arrests

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We'll Still Use Baton Guns during Arrests

Article excerpt

Byline: By Brenda Hickman

Police today refused to suspend the use of baton guns against suspects in potentially violent arrests.

It follows the death from natural causes of father-of-seven Brian Loan, 47, three days after he was shot by Durham Police with plastic bullets.

Officers also used Taser electric shock guns on Mr Loan, who was arrested at his home in Lilac Avenue, Sacriston, last Wednesday.

His family have called for a second post-mortem to be carried out after they were told he died of heart disease.

Mr Loan's sister, Barbara Hodgson, 46, of Helmsley Green, Gateshead, said the family were shocked by his death and were consulting a solicitor.

Today Durham Police confirmed it wouldn't stop using the baton guns ( which were used for the first time in the force area to arrest Mr Loan.

A force spokeswoman said: "There is no evidence to suggest we need to suspend the use of the weapons.

"Training in the use of baton guns began in the summer of 1998 after a decision was taken that the force would use them, but the go-ahead for their use operationally was not given until September 1999.

"The baton rounds used by police nationally are a modified and less powerful version of those used by the Army."

Mr Loan was overpowered and shot with plastic bullets by police after allegedly threatening a woman with a samurai sword. He was taken into custody, charged and appeared before magistrates in Consett last Thursday.

Having been released on bail to his father's house in Wallace Gardens, Springwell, Gateshead, Mr Loan was told not to go back to Durham.

He was found dead on the settee at his father Frank's home on Saturday morning.

Barbara said: "We are devastated. We're consulting a solicitor. Brian never had any heart complaints or heart trouble in the past.

"We want a second post-mortem. …

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