Taser didn't hurt, shot man says

“I PICKED up the knife and the police shot me with 50,000 volts - but it didn't really hurt.”That was the extraordinary account given today by Simon Calton, the first person in Ipswich to be shot by Suffolk police's electric taser gun.

“I PICKED up the knife and the police shot me with 50,000 volts - but it didn't really hurt.”

That was the extraordinary account given today by Simon Calton, the first person in Ipswich to be shot by Suffolk police's electric taser gun.

Speaking exclusively to The Evening Star, Mr Calton, 34, of Mallard Way, Ipswich was shot in the early hours of Tuesday morning after he threatened to harm himself with a knife.

He said: “I had put one knife down but I walked through to the kitchen and picked up another one and put it to my wrists because I wanted to cut myself.

“I had my back to the police at the time and the next thing I knew I felt a shock through my body and I thought 'I have just been tasered.'

“It didn't hurt really it was just an unpleasant experience. It was like being given an electric shock.

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“It wasn't a constant thing, it was on and off.

“For a few seconds I was motionless and then I ended up on my knees.”

Police were called to Mr Calton's home at about 11.50pm on Monday following a call from the ambulance service.

A stand-off, lasting more than an hour, then took place while police attempted to persuade Mr Calton to drop the knife.

Mr Calton added: “They were very nice to start with but then they started shouting to put the knife down.

“I didn't threaten them at all and they kept a big distance between me and them.

“I was threatening to hurt myself and that's why they did it I think. They could have warned me first.”

However, police were forced to act quickly when Mr Calton picked up the second knife.

It is believed to be the first time officers in Ipswich have decided to shoot someone with the 50,000 volt charge.

Today Mr Calton told the Star he had suffered with Aspergers Syndrome, Tourettes, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder (ADHD) for some time.

He said he has a social worker and a community psychiatric nurse but does not feel he is getting enough care.

He added: “I call NHS Direct and it can be as frequent as once a fortnight. Sometimes they suggest an ambulance or a doctor and they turn up, often with the police as well.

“I was taken to St Clements (on Tuesday) and I was in there for a couple of hours while they assessed me.

“I am not too good really and I need to spend some time in St Clements.”

Mr Calton also uses crutches because he has a broken hip and criticised police for not allowing him to use them to walk to the police van on Tuesday morning.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich police said a decision was made to taser Mr Calton because he was intending to seriously harm himself.

She said the gun was used to protect Mr Calton and police officers.

The best and worst police forces in England and Wales will be named in new government tables today.

The Home Office will publish so-called police performance assessments for 2004-05 which compare similar forces with each other, but do not provide an overall league table.

For the first time they will include assessments by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) which used to be published separately.

Last year's the best forces were named as Kent, Lancashire, Northumbria, Staffordshire and Suffolk.

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