Father’s plea to ‘section’ ex-soldier son not logged in 999 call, inquest told

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A father’s plea during a 999 call for his son to be sectioned was not passed on to officers, an inquest into the death of an ex-soldier who was Tasered by police has heard.

Spencer Beynon, 43, a former platoon sergeant from Llanelli, South Wales, died after officers were called in June 2016 over concerns about his behaviour.

Mr Beynon suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after tours with the Royal Welsh Regiment in Afghanistan and Iraq, and was medically discharged from the Army.

His family believe a welfare check should have been carried out on him after his father Christopher Beynon phoned Dyfed-Powys Police on the morning of his death saying his son had gone “absolutely insane”.

However key information about his mental state including his PTSD diagnosis was not recorded by the call handler, the jury heard on Thursday.

During the call, a transcript of which has been read to the jury, Mr Beynon senior described how he had arrived home at around 9.30am to find his son and his girlfriend in the kitchen with his wife.

Mr Beynon's father Christopher told police his son had gone
Mr Beynon’s father Christopher told police his son had gone ‘insane’ on the morning of his death (family handout/PA)

He also said his son had tried to exorcise the devil from him, claiming to be a Buddhist monk and that he saw his “mood change, and a blackness come over him”.

Mr Beynon also told the call handler that his son had “PTSD compounded by constant use of cannabis” and should be “sectioned”.

However, the call handler did not record that information on the log that was eventually sent to police officers, and categorised the report as low priority and drugs-related – because Mr Beynon was said to be possession of cannabis.

Based on the information they received in the log, officers at Llanelli Police Station chose to take no further action, the inquest was told.

Asked if a different decision should have been taken that day, Police Sergeant Dylan Davies, who was on duty that morning, said: “No, not based on the intelligence we had.”

Spencer Beynon with his dog who was injured in the incident. (Family handout/PA)
Spencer Beynon with his dog, who was injured in the incident (family handout/PA)

The court heard how previous calls made by the family about Mr Beynon’s mental health had resulted in armed police officers being called and him being sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

Later that day on June 14 2016, the force responded to a report from a neighbour concerned about a man walking down a road barefoot holding a cannabis pipe.

Witnesses at the time claimed they saw Mr Beynon stab his dog and then himself.

Officers found Mr Beynon in Maes y Bwlch, an estate near his home, with a neck wound.

He later collapsed after being hit with a Taser, with officers claiming they had deployed the weapon after he had shown “aggression” towards them.

Police have previously denied the Taser killed Mr Beynon.

The four-week jury inquest into Mr Beynon’s death is taking place at Parc y Scarlets rugby stadium in Llanelli in front of acting senior coroner Paul Bennett.

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