Police worker Michael Mount cleared of assault after appeal
Monday 15 October 2012
A civilian detention officer has been cleared of assaulting a prisoner at a police station after an appeal.
Judge Tony Briggs, sitting at Teesside Crown Court with two magistrates, cleared Michael Mount of assaulting unco-operative David Healer at Peterlee Police Station in March last year.
But his colleague Stephen Harvey, an experienced custody sergeant, failed in his bid to overturn two assault convictions.
The Durham Police employees appealed against their convictions at Teesside Magistrates' Court earlier this year.
Harvey, 50, from Chester-le-Street, twisted Mr Healer's arm when he would not answer questions while he was being booked in following his arrest for breach of bail and assaulting a police officer.
A video camera caught the incident and also Mr Healer's howls of pain.
After conviction, the Independent Police Complaints Commission described what happened as a form of torture.
Judge Briggs said Harvey was undoubtedly a man of good character with a long service record whose colleagues spoke in glowing terms about him.
But, at the end of a 10 hour shift and when he had been asked to work two more hours, he used the painful arm lock to make Mr Healer respond to questions, the judge said.
The sergeant had claimed he was using reasonable force.
Mr Mount, 61, from Thornley, was expected to assist the custody sergeant and follow his lead. He twice held Mr Healer by the wrist or arm.
"We are not satisfied that he acted unlawfully," the judge said of Mr Mount.
Harvey was ordered to pay £600 appeal costs. His original fine of £400, with £50 compensation to the victim still stands.
Mr Healer, who attended the hearing, is suing Durham Police.
Outside court, his solicitor Stephen Gowland said: "In the year this assault occurred, 23 people died in police custody in England and Wales.
"My client thought he was going to die in the police station and be part of those statistics."
Bali Nine executions live: Indonesian firing squad shoots dead eight drug offenders despite outcry around world, but a ninth is spared
Keith Harris dead: Orville the Duck ventriloquist dies aged 67 following battle with cancer
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV