Police ‘called suspected car thief a scumbag during assault’ - ex’s claim

Gail Sykes at a previous appearance at Sheffield Magistrates Court
Gail Sykes at a previous appearance at Sheffield Magistrates Court

The former girlfriend of a car thief has said officers called him a ‘scumbag’ during an alleged assault on him.

Gail Sykes told a police misconduct hearing she had overheard a ‘commotion’ as her then-partner Lee Stott was being arrested by officers at his Sheffield flat over a burglary in August 2014.

Stott, who is currently serving a jail term for the burglary, claims DC Christopher Hanson repeatedly hit him with a shoe while he was handcuffed and being restrained by PC Christopher Cheung as they tried to find out the location of a stolen car.

It is alleged the two officers, along with PC Trevor Roberts, then lied in their statements about what happened. All three officers deny any wrongdoing.

Sykes, who is in jail herself waiting to be sentenced for a separate theft at a restaurant, told the hearing that police had kicked down the door of the flat on Brightmore Drive in Netherthorpe, Sheffield,

She said Stott had been trying to get rid of the stolen property, which included an iPhone and iPads, down a rubbish chute in the kitchen, when police grabbed him and ‘chucked him in the bedroom’.

Sykes said they had thrown him on the bed and put his hands behind his back before she was taken to the living room by two uniformed officers.

She said she could hear ‘a lot of commotion’.

“It seemed like he was getting thrown and I could hear him shouting at them,” she said.

“They were screaming ‘Tell us where the car is or we are taking Gail’ and calling him a scumbag.”

She said she heard noises which sounded like ‘grown men rolling about on the floor’.

The hearing had been told on Monday that PC Cheung and DC Hanson said Stott had told them injuries on his body had come from falling over in a park.

Sykes said there had been no injuries on Stott before the arrival of the officers.

She said she was telling the truth about what she heard in the flat.

“I have got nothing to gain from this. I’m not in a relationship with Lee anymore. I don’t want to be sat here. I have been brought from prison and I’m just telling the truth.

“I have got no reason to lie about it.”

Rick Holland, representing DC Hanson, said Sykes had been ‘utterly untruthful’ with police about her knowledge of Stott’s criminal activity on the night of the burglary.

He suggested she was trying to hide her level of continued contact with Stott through letters in prison.

As the cross-examination continued, Sykes said Mr Holland was ‘banging on and doing my head in’.

Mr Holland said: “There are three officers here who might lose their careers.”

Sykes replied: “They f****** need to be lost.”

The hearing continues.

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South Yorkshire police detective accused of repeatedly hitting burglary suspect with shoe