Man fails to win $120,000 for being tasered

A MAN with a violent history against police has failed in a bid to sue the NSW Government for $120,000 after officers shot him in the back with a Taser in Casino.

Andrew Stephen Benn was highly intoxicated after a fight with his girlfriend when police approached him at the intersection of Barker and Walker Sts about 1am on October 1, 2010.

Benn had threatened to break the officers' noses and to hurt himself and his girlfriend before a Taser was fired at his back.

"A number of the police officers present had either direct experience with the plaintiff, or knowledge of him," Supreme Court Associate Justice Joanne Harrison said.

"This included that the plaintiff had previously been charged with assaulting police, had attempted to take a firearm from a police officer and had approached another armed with a knife."

Benn argued police knew he had mental health issues as he had visited the police station a week earlier, asking to be admitted to hospital to stop him hurting himself or someone else.

He claimed he was assaulted when police fired and charged the two Taser probes into his back as he was walking away from them.

He also argued police did not tell him he was under arrest and would be taken to a mental health facility.

"The plaintiff agreed that (the officer) said something to him like: 'Andrew, stop or you are going to be tasered'," Associate Justice Harrison said.

"The plaintiff also agreed that he was told by police officers 'to get in the truck' and that he did not do so."

Benn's appeal was dismissed and he was ordered to pay costs.

Lifeline's 24-hour crisis support hotline can be contacted on 13 11 44.

-APN NEWSDESK


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