Police officer “blasts” rattled drunk “twice” with taser at Chesterfield bus stop

A police officer had to “blast” an out of control drunk at a Chesterfield bus stop “twice” with a taser as he brandished a broken beer bottle during a stand-off, a court heard.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 11:20 am

The policeman - commended by a judge for his “bravery” - was investigating a missing girl when he and a colleague came across a group of “rowdy” males in North Wingfield.

Defendant Tom Whittaker, 23, was found lying on the floor near a bus stop on Station Road - having just been beaten up on November 11 last year.

Prosecutor Lynn Bickley told Chesterfield Magistrates Court as the officer approached “drunk” and “agitated” Whittaker took “large breaths” and was “puffing his chest out”.

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Whittaker went down with the second shot but remained “agitated”
Whittaker went down with the second shot but remained “agitated”

As the constable’s colleague struggled to control a group of men nearby Whittaker kept saying “get them away from me” as he was asked what had happened.

He then smashed a beer bottle against a wall and stood waving the broken glass while looking at a group of males to his left.

The court heard how after telling Whittaker to put the bottle down the constable pointed the taser at him - telling him he was taser-trained and becoming “concerned”.

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Meanwhile as his fellow officer tried to deal with the group of males nearby shouting threats at Whittaker he continued to “puff his chest out”.

Ms Bickley said: “He fired the taser but this failed and he (Whittaker) was still holding the bottle.”

However Whittaker went down with the second shot but remained “agitated” on the floor and “tried to grab the barbs”.

After his arrest he told police “he was scared while police were there”.

Aspergers-diagnosed Whittaker, of Melton Court, Riddings, who has no previous convictions, admitted using threatening behaviour.

District Judge Andrew Davison told him: “The police already had their hands full trying to find a missing girl and you were brandishing a broken bottle.

“You were threatening a police officer and I commend him for his bravery and his significant public responsibility.

“He was forced to use a taser and you were in such a state the first blast didn’t work - after you were tasered a second time at least that had some limited effect.”

Whittaker’s solicitor Kirsten Collings told the court he had been assaulted just prior to the police stand-off and was “very frightened”.

She said: “He was clearly intoxicated and didn’t see the police being there to help him.”

Ms Collings said Whittaker had an “awful childhood” and he “struggles with social communication” due to his Aspergers condition.

She added: “He understands how serious his behaviour was and how much of a risk his behaviour posed.

“He had a very difficult upbringing and has had very little support within the community.”

Judge Davison told Whittaker: “You’re a person of previous good character - it’s a very serious offence to begin your criminal record with.

“It doesn't help when you have binge drinking inside you and you got into a fight with another male.”

Whittaker was jailed for 16 weeks suspended for 12 months with 16 rehabilitation activity sessions, made to pay £200 compensation, £128 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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