A SHOPLIFTER who is suing police for using excessive force described the pain of being Tasered as being like death.

“You feel it, you can’t breath, it takes your breath away,” shoplifter Paul McClelland said.

Mr McClelland, who described himself as a Jekyll and Hyde character, is suing Sussex police after a officer Tasered him during a confrontation on Brighton seafront.

Mr McClelland, 40, from Brighton, who admitted taking four cans of beer, assaulting a Sainsbury’s security guard and resisting arrest, was stripped to the waist when a female officer shot him in the back with her Taser.

He claims he was kicked by another officer as he fell forward onto his face.

He told a judge at the county court in Brighton the incident in July 2013 had left him suicidal.

The court watched police body worn camera footage of the incident showing the point of view of the female officer.

She can be heard shouting orders at Mr McClelland before firing her Taser at him when he has his back to her.

“Get on the floor, there is a red dot on your chest,” she shouts at him.

Mr McClelland, who received a six-month community service order after admittined the earlier offence, wiped his eyes as the footage was shown.

After he is Tasered and falls to the ground, the officer says to him: “There are two barbs in your back which will be removed.

“There will be no lasting effects from the Taser.”

In a video shot by a member of the public, another officer appears to kick out at Mr McClelland as he falls to the ground.

During police interviews, Mr McClelland admitted stripping to his underwear before taking up a boxing stance after trying to run from police.

Asked by Ian Clarke, for Sussex police, if he had wanted to fight the officers, Mr McClelland said: “In the split second.

“Then you stand there and think what am I doing trying to take on the police.”

Asked if he agreed he was a violent man, Mr McClelland said: “With myself.

“Suicide, slash my wrists, overdose. I’ve gone into the sea to try and kill myself.”

Mr Clarke said: “Your intention was to fight them.”

“At that time, yes,” Mr McClelland said.

He admitted he had been drinking strong lager during the day and in, sometimes rambling, evidence agreed he had told police he had not made a complaint about being Tasered immediately after the incident.

He told the court he made the complaint against police after seeing the footage on television.

Mr McClelland, who said he had been in the army, pleaded guilty to the remaining charges in Brighton Magistrates’ Court on September 5, 2013.

He received a six-month community service order.

High Court Judge, His Honour Judge Jonathan Simpkiss said: “This is a fairly straightforward case.

“The issues are what your client was doing in the moments before he was tasered and taken to the ground.

“Was he kicked, what words were said before he was tasered and were the police physical actions, including the tasering, the use of reasonable force in the circumstances?”

The case continues.