A teenage boy with complex learning difficulties has been Tasered by police in the grounds of a special school owned by the exclusive Priory Group.
Devon and Cornwall Police were called to Chelfham Senior School, near Plymouth, which specialises in children with learning difficulties including behavioural, emotional and social difficulties and autism, after reports of an alleged assault on a teacher.
The force confirmed officers deployed a Taser during the incident at 9.20pm on December 1, which involved three boys, a 15-year-old and two 14-year-olds, after reports that knives were brandished at officers.
The boy who was Tasered was treated at the scene by paramedics for chest and head injuries before being taken to hospital.
The day and residential school for boys and girls aged seven to 19 is owned by the Priory Group, a private company known for its addiction clinics favoured by celebrities.
Sophie Khan, a solicitor-advocate and legal director at Police Action Centre, said: “Often officers can say they weren’t aware of behaviour issues, but in this case they must have been aware. Using a Taser on someone suffering some kind of behavioural difficulty or disability is something the policy or guidance doesn’t allow.”
Devon and Cornwall Police are being investigated by the police watchdog over an incident in which a man who doused himself in petrol burst into flames when he was shot with a Taser. Andrew Pimlott, 32, suffered horrific injuries in the confrontation outside his house and died in a hospital burns unit five days later.
All three boys involved in the incident were charged with affray and will appear at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court on December 20.
A spokeswoman for the school said it was “an isolated incident on the school grounds and as legal proceedings are ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further”.