Police shot man with 50,000-volt Taser after he suffered epileptic fit in gym

A police officer used a 50,000-volt Taser gun on a man suffering an epileptic fit, it has been revealed.

A major investigation is under way after the 40-year-old complained that he had been the victim of excessive force.

He had collapsed as he suffered a seizure at a gym and paramedics had been called to deal with the incident.

An investigation has been launched after a man was Tasered by police while suffering an epileptic fit (file photo)

But they asked for police back-up after the man allegedly started biting and punching them.

When police arrived at the gym - which is in a secondary school in south Manchester - one officer discharged a Taser at least once into the man.

The man, who was physically restrained by officers, was transferred to hospital an hour after he first collapsed.

His condition was so bad he had to stay there for two weeks before being discharged.

He complained to Greater Manchester Police who referred the case to the Independent Police Complaint Commission.

The IPCC has launched a full investigation into the incident at the Powerleague Gym in Whalley Range, Manchester, in November.

Tasers were introduced in police forces in England and Wales in 2003 to deal with violent offenders.

Figures released last August showed they have been used 4,818 times. But forces have been criticised for using the Tasers irresponsibly.

In 2006, Brian Loan, 47, died several days after being shot with a Taser in County Durham.

A coroner attributed his death to heart disease but his sister Barbara Hodgson refused to accept that the Taser was not to blame.

Records show police fired or threatened to fire Tasers against at least 142 under-18s in the 20 months to the end of August 2009.

The youngest person involved was a 12-year-old boy who had threatened school staff with scissors.

Last year an 89-year-old war veteran, apparently suffering from the onset of Alzheimer's disease, was Tasered because an officer feared he might harm himself.

Police have also turned their Tasers on stray dogs, runaway sheep and even, accidentally, on themselves.

Oliver Sprague, director of Amnesty International, said last night: 'Amnesty has always insisted that Tasers should only be used in instances where there's a threat of serious injury or loss of life.

'We've also insisted that police officers take extreme caution when using this weapon against vulnerable groups - such as those with medical illnesses, children and the elderly.

'We are certainly concerned to hear that a person in apparent medical and emotional distress was subjected to the Taser.'