A WREXHAM man who cut his own throat after a confrontation with police did so during a psychotic episode brought on by drugs, a jury decided.

At the end of a five-day inquest in Ruthin the jury took almost five hours to reach a conclusion in the case of Paul Williams, a 39-year-old former factory worker, who died at Wrexham Maelor Hospital on February 12, 2017.

The inquest heard that Mr Williams often binged on cocaine, steroids and alcohol, and that often resulted in his becoming paranoid.

But psychiatrists said he had not been diagnosed as having a mental illness and witnesses described how he had an insight into his problems and was engaging with the various agencies trying to help him.

In the early hours of February 12 Mr Williams, who lived at Brandy Brook, Johnstown, with his mother, twice called the police and voiced concerns that people “were out get him”, but said he did not need immediate help.

At about 10am he called the ambulance service but the paramedic who arrived called for police back-up because Mr Williams appeared to be carrying a knife and was agitated.

Three police officers arrived and when Mr Williams ran off he was twice Tasered by PC Adam Griffiths, but to no effect.

He then cut his own throat with a craft knife blade, and died soon after reaching hospital.

A post-mortem examination revealed cocaine and amphetamines in his system.

An investigation was carried out by the Independent Police Complaints Commission but no misconduct proceedings followed and the officers were found to have followed the correct policies and protocols.

In a narrative conclusion the jury stated: “Paul was known to have taken cocaine and amphetamine prior to his death.

“As a result Paul suffered a psychotic episode that affected the balance of his mind at the time.

“Paul was in possession of a blade that he used to inflict the injuries to himself. The injuries he inflicted were unsurvivable.”

In a statement after the hearing, Mr Williams’s family said: “Paul was a hardworking, popular and kind man but faced a number of challenges during his life.

“We are grateful for the care and attention that the jury have taken in considering this case. Paul will be greatly missed by his family and friends.”

n Police officers who confronted Paul Williams before he cut his own throat used “reasonable force”, according to a report released after the inquest.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) conducted an investigation into the case after the death of the 39-year-old in February 2017.

The inquiry covered not only the actions of the three officers – PCs Adam Griffiths, Andrew Griffiths and Gareth Bostock – but also the response of the call handlers who spoke to Mr Williams on the phone a few hours earlier.

When Mr Williams ran off he was Tasered twice by PC Adam Griffiths but the barbs had no effect.

A summary of the IOPC’s report was published after the jury returned a narrative conclusion that the self-inflicted wound was caused during a psychotic episode brought on by drugs.

The IOPC’s Director for Wales Catrin Evans said: “This was a tragic incident and my thoughts are with Mr Williams’ family and friends and the three officers who tried their best to help him.

“The officer who Tasered Mr Williams used reasonable force to bring Mr Williams safely under control.

“The Taser had little or no effect, so officers also attempted to use their incapacitant spray. Given that verbal commands, Taser and physical restraint had not worked, we consider that the use of spray was the only viable tactical option left available to the officers.”

As a result, no disciplinary proceedings were taken against any of the officers or control room staff.