Car thief: Police beating ‘could have been a dream’

Brightmore Drive, Netherthorpe
Brightmore Drive, Netherthorpe

A car thief who has accused a detective of repeatedly beating him with a shoe has said the alleged assault might have been a dream.

Lee Stott told a police misconduct hearing on Wednesday he had been high on drugs at the time and was now unsure whether the incident in August 2014 had ever happened.

On his second day of evidence, Stott, who is in jail for the burglary, said one reason he had made the allegations against DC Christopher Hanson was to see whether the police would drop the burglary charge against him.

“I was hoping they would drop the case if I dropped the allegations so they wouldn’t get in any trouble,” he said.

DC Hanson is facing a misconduct hearing along with PC Christopher Cheung, who Stott had alleged had held his handcuffs while he was being beaten as the officers tried to find out the location of a car he had stolen.

The pair and a third officer, PC Trevor Roberts, were accused of lying about what happened at Stott’s flat on Brightmore Drive in Netherthorpe. All three deny any wrongdoing.

Under cross examination from Richard Littler, representing PC Cheung, Stott said he ‘might have been wrong’ to claim in interview that DC Hanson had threatened to kill him.

Mr Littler asked Stott if he was mistaken about whether the attack ever took place.

He said: “I can’t remember everything. I might have been mistaken. I was taking drugs.”

When re-examined by Stephen Morley, representing the force’s Professional Standards department, Stott was asked what impact drug-taking had on his memory of the events.

He said: “Sometimes I can’t tell if I might have dreamt it or if it really happened.”

When asked about PC Cheung, who previously helped Stott in a separate incident when he had a panic attack, he said: “He is a good officer. I don’t want him to lose his job. I don’t want anything from this. I just don’t want to be assaulted ever again.”

Mr Morley asked if the officers had assaulted him and Stott said ‘No comment’.

He added: “I was high on drugs so I can’t be certain on anything so it wouldn’t be fair to convict him [Cheung] on something I can’t be certain of.”

He said he had been taking drugs when he made allegations against the officers.

Stott said he was now uncertain the injuries on his body had come from being attacked.

“I could have fallen over when I was high on drugs. I can’t really remember much,” he said.

Mr Morley asked if Stott had ever been hit by a shoe before.

He said he had been by his mother when he was a child.

Following the end of his evidence, the hearing was told that after Stott had left the room where the case is being heard, he had told Temporary Inspector Julie Morley of the Professional Standards department that ‘he didn’t want the officers to be sacked as he thought they would learn from the mistake’.

The hearing was told he said: “My solicitor told me if I didn’t carry on with the case she wouldn’t get her fees. I was trying to please everyone.”

Rick Holland, representing DC Hanson, said the day’s evidence may prompt a ‘change in outlook on the allegations’ on the part of the force’s Professional Standards department.

He said if the hearing continues, lawyers for all three officers would make an application that their clients have no case to answer.