Metropolitan Police officer left man paralysed after Tasering him while on patrol during lockdown, court hears

 Jordan Walker-Brown at Southwark Crown court  (PA )
Jordan Walker-Brown at Southwark Crown court (PA )

A police officer left a man with "catastrophic" life-changing injuries after Tasering him on top of wheelie bins, causing him to fall backwards on to a footpath, a court heard.

Pc Imran Mahmood, 36, is accused of unlawfully inflicting grievous bodily harm on Jordan Walker-Brown during a patrol in the early months of the first lockdown on May 4 2020.

His alleged victim, who was 23 at the time, was left paralysed from the waist down after hitting his head on the pavement and breaking his back.

He had not pulled out any weapon at the time he was Tasered, the court heard.

Southwark Crown Court heard how Mahmood, who was attached to the Met's Territorial Support Group which deals with outbreaks of public disorder, was patrolling the Haringey area of north London with eight other officers when their marked van turned into Burgoyne Road.

The defendant noticed Mr Walker-Brown walking along the pavement and decided to speak to him "to see if he could legitimately explain what he was doing in the area" during lockdown, the court heard.

The court heard he also did not believe Mr Walker-Brown was dressed appropriately for exercise with his hood up and woolly hat on in warm weather. He had a bum bag on which the officer believed could have been used to carry illegal items, and did a "double take" when he saw police arrive, the court heard.

Mahmood and a colleague chased him and drew their Tasers while the van followed.

Mr Walker-Brown then entered the front garden of a house and tried to climb over a fence leading to a footpath, but first had to jump onto a wheelie bin to make it over, the court heard.

At this point the defendant drew his taser, which created such an electric shock it caused Mr Walker-Brown to tumble backwards over the fence, the court heard.

Mr Walker-Brown outside court (PA)
Mr Walker-Brown outside court (PA)

He landed head-first on the footpath below and broke his back.

The other officer did not discharge his Taser, the court heard.

The incident was captured on body-worn footage from cameras Mahmood and his colleague were wearing.

Prosecutor Ben Fitzgerald KC told jurors: "Mr Walker-Brown did not present a physical threat to Mr Mahmood or anyone else.

"He did not produce a weapon or try to attack anyone; he was trying to get away.

"Mr Mahmood fired the taser at the moment when it looked as if Mr Walker-Brown might get away over the wall.

"He discharged the taser when Mr Walker-Brown was up on the wheelie bin, with the obvious risk of injury from an uncontrolled fall, which is exactly what happened, with catastrophic results.

"Mr Mahmood should not have used the taser. It was not, the prosecution say, a reasonable use of force in the circumstances he faced. It was not lawful."

He added that Mahmood was taught in training that Tasers cause "intense pain" which leave the subject unable to control the muscles in their body, and that tasering someone at a height carries a "particular risk."

When interviewed by the police watchdog, which began investigating on the day of the incident, Mahmood said he believed Mr Walker-Brown was about to pull a knife and begin attacking "anyone who attempted to stop him", the court heard.

He said he had told him he was being searched but Mr Walker-Brown continued running away, the court heard.

He told the Independent Office for Police Conduct: "I discharged my taser because I believed that he was cornered, with a knife, and having failed to get over the wall was in the process of turning to attack me and anyone that attempted to stop him.

"I honestly believed that he was mentally moving from flight to fight mode as he was longer at the bins than I expected."

He said he believed Mr Walker-Brown was "about to attack".

He added: "I honestly believed I had to stop Mr Walker-Brown in that moment to prevent this very real, dangerous and imminent threat to my safety."

Mr Fitzpatrick said the defendant had been told there had been an increase in gang-related activity in the area, but did not know that part of the capital well.

Mahmood stood ashen-faced in the dock wearing a blue suit, white shirt and light blue tie as the case against him was read out.

Mr Walker-Brown was comforted as he watched the body-worn video in the public gallery.

The officer, from Plaistow in east London, does not dispute inflicting grievous bodily harm but denies that it was unlawful.

The trial, which is expected to last five days, continues.