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Greenfield teenager cleared of assaulting police officer

Published date: 11 July 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A TEENAGE drunk has been cleared of assaulting a policeman amid allegations he headbutted the officer during a struggle.

Damien Robert Davies said the contact had been accidental while he was being detained by two officers.

Flintshire magistrates heard Davies himself was punched to the arm and mouth and later held on the ground with a knee to his head.

But PC James Evans said under the circumstances he was using reasonable force.

Davies, 19, of Woodland Drive in Greenfield, denied assaulting PC Evans at Holywell on March 16 and was cleared.

He admitted an earlier public order offence in the town and resisting another officer.

He was fined £365 with £107 costs and a community order was allowed to continue.

The Mold court heard yesterday how PC Evans and a colleague had been directed to Holywell following a report of a disturbance outside the Boar’s Head pub.

As they approached they saw two men matching the descriptions they had been given and stopped their car.

PC Evans arrested one man as Davies resisted another officer.

In evidence, PC Evans said he saw how Davies was struggling with his colleague and had hold of his arm to prevent him being handcuffed.

The officer said he took hold of his arm to try to get him to release his grip but he refused to let go.

He struck him to his arm with his fist but that did not have the desired effect.

Asked why he felt it appropriate to do that, the officer said he feared for his and his colleague’s safety.

He held Davies around the neck but that was not working as he continued to struggle.

PC Evans said he took hold of Davies’ arm and bent him forward, using his arm as a lever while his colleague held him to the left side.

“At that point the defendant headbutted me,” he said, adding it caused soreness and pain to his mouth and upper teeth.

“Due to his aggressive behaviour I punched him in the face in order to gain further compliance,” PC Evans added.

“He had assaulted me. He was acting aggressively. I feared he might continue to attempt to assault me.

“I punched him in the face to stop him further assaulting me.

“That was the only free area I could strike him,” he said, adding what he did was within force guidelines.

Davies was then taken to the floor where he continued to struggle and the officer said he placed his knee on the side of his head for under a minute until colleagues arrived.

Cross-examined by Bethan Jones, defending, PC Evans said according to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) and common law he could use reasonable force in such circumstances.

Miss Jones said he had punched an 11 stone, 19-year-old drunk who was already in handcuffs but the officer said Davies was not handcuffed at the time.

A CCTV film of the incident was played and Miss Jones accused the officer of losing his temper with her client but he denied such a suggestion.

Miss Jones said her client had been assaulted and the contact between them occurred when he had simply been trying to stand up, a natural reaction in the circumstances.

Davies was not called to give evidence.

Magistrates said they did not find the assault case proved.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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