Mother of 10-year-old girl Tasered in own home says she wouldn't have called police if she knew what would happen

27 November 2023, 12:45

Body-worn footage was played at the panel hearing, showing PC Broadhead had shouted towards Child A, saying “put it down” as she appeared to pick up the shears, before heading up the stairs [File Photo]
Body-worn footage was played at the panel hearing, showing PC Broadhead had shouted towards Child A, saying “put it down” as she appeared to pick up the shears, before heading up the stairs [File Photo]. Picture: Alamy
Fraser Knight

By Fraser Knight

The mother of a child, who was tasered in her own home, has said she would never have called the police if she’d known that would happen.

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The girl - Child A - who was aged 10 at the time, had been threatening her mum with a hammer and garden shears, leading the woman - Ms A - to call the police for help.

Within eight seconds of entering their home, in January 2021, PC Jonathan Broadhead had deployed his taser on the girl twice.

“I wanted the police to help me convince her to put down the shears and the hammer, by talking to her,” Ms A told a gross misconduct panel in South London.

“When the officers arrived, everything was very quick. They came in and they charged in front of me.

“There was lots of shouting and I remember my daughter sitting in the kitchen with the hammer and shears.

“I felt that she was scared, and she went to run up the stairs and that was when she was shot with the taser.

“I was shocked at how they handled it. I wouldn’t have called the police if I knew she would’ve been tasered.”

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The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has claimed PC Jonathan Broadhead’s actions amount to gross misconduct.

They say the use of force was not reasonable or proportionate to the risk posed by Child A at the time.

The police watchdog’s lawyer, Ms Olivia Checa-Dover, said: “There is little to no doubt that a child carrying shears comes with risk.

"The question is whether tasering her twice, seemingly skipping calmer de-escalation tactics or a red dot challenge was proportionate for that risk.”

At the opening of a misconduct panel hearing, PC Broadhead said: “I deny the allegations”.

His lawyer, Mr Rob Morris, questioned Ms A at the hearing, saying: “At no point did you say to the call handler that you wanted the police to come and talk to her, you were scared of what she might have done to you, is that correct?”

“Yes,” Ms A replied.

It was revealed that Child A’s mobile phone had been taken away from her by her mother, leading to an argument, which became increasingly aggressive.

Ms A also agreed that her 10-year-old’s behaviour may have been affected by the use of ‘edibles’ - cannabis-infused sweets.

Body-worn footage was played at the panel hearing, showing PC Broadhead shouting towards Child A, saying “put it down” as she appeared to pick up the shears, before heading up the stairs.

The footage then shows the officer had shouted “taser” numerous times as a warning, but the panel heard even Child A’s mother had never heard of a taser before then.

In her written evidence, Ms A said: “I thought they were just pointing something at her and trying to scare her.”

In her opening remarks, Ms Olivia Checa-Dover, representing the IOPC, said: “A child may not know what is being shouted at them, rather just the fact that an adult is shouting at them.

“Shouting ‘taser’ before using one in these circumstances may not have been a proper warning to her.”

If found guilty of gross misconduct, PC Jonathan Broadhead could face being sacked from the Metropolitan Police.

He denies using an unreasonable level of force against Child A with his panel hearing due to continue through the week.

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