Police officers deny assault of disabled man, 93, with dementia in care home

Two police officers denied assaulting a 93-year-old disabled man with dementia after a court heard they used a taser, pepper spray and baton on him.

Donald Burgess, 93, had dementia and lived in a care home.

After a report of a resident wielding a knife and threatening staff in June 2022, PC Stephen Smith and PC Rachel Comotto attended the care home in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex.

There they used a taser, pepper spray, baton and handcuffs on Mr Burgess, Westminster Magistrates' Court was told.

The pensioner, who had one leg, was taken to hospital after the incident and died there three weeks later.

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation found that the incident did not cause or contribute to his death.

Both officers pleaded not guilty to assaulting Mr Burgess.

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Comotto, 34, denied a count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm through the use of her taser.

Smith, 50, denied two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm upon Mr Burgess by using a Pava spray and also a baton.

They were both bailed ahead of an appearance at Southwark Crown Court on 23 May.