Detective fails in bid to have ‘police beating’ case kicked out

Brightmore Drive, where police are accused of attacking a burglary suspect. Picture: Andrew Roe
Brightmore Drive, where police are accused of attacking a burglary suspect. Picture: Andrew Roe

A detective accused of repeatedly beating a car thief with a shoe has failed in a bid to have the case against him kicked out.

DC Christopher Hanson denies assaulting Lee Stott, who claimed he had been hit with one of his trainers while handcuffed and being restrained by PC Christopher Cheung as the officers attempted to find out the location of a stolen car in August 2014.

The two men, and a third officer, PC Trevor Roberts, are accused of lying about what happened in Stott’s flat on Brightmore Drive, Netherthorpe and have been facing a police misconduct hearing.

Lawyers for all three men had applied for the three-person panel hearing the matter to rule there was ‘no case to answer’ against any of the officers in light of Stott giving evidence that he may have been mistaken about what had happened, had been on drugs at the time and was unsure whether the incident was a dream.

But Nicola Murphy, chair of the panel, ruled there was a case to answer for DC Hanson and PC Cheung following evidence in the case from a footwear analyst who said injuries on Stott’s body had been ‘in keeping’ with being hit with a shoe.

She said Stott had made allegations of being beaten to a custody sergeant shortly after being arrested and had immediately complained to his solicitor.

She added: “Whilst giving his evidence, his ability to maintain a focus on the questions he was asked was obviously low and diminished as the hearing progressed.”

She said the way his evidence had altered during the hearing had come in the context of expressing the view he didn’t want the officers to be sacked.

The panel did agree to drop one of the allegations against PC Roberts that he had witnessed the attack on Stott and failed to intervene after Stott said in evidence he had no memory of the officer being there.

But PC Roberts still faces proceedings relating to an allegation he gave an ‘untrue and inaccurate’ statement about how the officers entered the flat. All three officers had said the door had been opened by Stott’s girlfriend, but CCTV footage has shown them apparently kicking their way into the flat.

The hearing has now been adjourned and will resume in September.