Claims detective beat suspect with shoe ‘are lies’

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

Claims a detective beat a Sheffield burglar with a shoe to find out the location of a stolen car are ‘lies’, his lawyer has said.

Rick Holland, representing DC Chris Hanson, made an application for a panel at a police misconduct hearing to find there is no case to answer against his client after the complainant Lee Stott said he was unsure the incident had ever happened and may have been a dream.

Stott, who is in jail for burglary, had alleged DC Hanson had repeatedly hit him with a shoe while he was handcuffed and being restrained by PC Christopher Cheung.

The pair, and a third officer, PC Trevor Roberts, are accused of lying about what happened at Stott’s flat on Brightmore Drive, Netherthorpe in August 2014.

Barristers for all three men applied for the cases against the officers to be kicked out following evidence from Stott in which he said he had been high on drugs at the time and may have been mistaken about his allegations.

Mr Holland said the evidence of Stott and his girlfriend Gail Sykes ‘was utterly bedevilled by dishonesty and inconsistency and the like’.

He said Stott’s evidence to the panel promoted ‘a deep sense of unease’.

Mr Holland said: “He told you he wasn’t sure if he dreamt it or it really happened; that he was on drugs.”

Richard Littler, representing PC Cheung, said the panel were being asked to perform ‘mental gymnastics’ to accept that Stott and Sykes were liars in many areas but had told the truth about the incident.

He said: “There are so many lies here you are being asked to perform mental gymnastics. You are being invited to say they both lied a lot and are thoroughly dishonest but are telling the truth about this potential aspect of the case. That is frankly ludicrous.”

Julian King, representing PC Roberts, said that case was ‘with lies, contradictions and untrue allegations’.

He said the evidence that had been presented to the panel was ‘fatally flawed’.

Stephen Morley, representing the Professional Standards department, had earlier told the hearing that the allegation that Stott was made to sign a confession he had not made was being withdrawn after the complainant changed his account about this matter while giving evidence.

But he added the other misconduct charges should still be pursued after the force’s Professional Standards department ‘carefully reviewed the other evidence’.

Responding to submissions from the barristers for the three men, Mr Morley said that despite the ‘shift’ in Stott’s evidence, the case should continue.

He said: “His evidence changed - and dramatically so at the end when he made reference to a dream.

I have never heard anything quite like it.

But he never actually said in his evidence they didn’t assault him. He became vaguer and vaguer towards the end

“He doesn’t want the officers to get the sack. He thinks they have learnt a lesson and he is backing off from that.”

Mr Morley said Stott did have documented injuries and had made allegations about being assaulted after arrest and being taken to the police station.

He said analysis has suggested the marks on Stott’s body were ‘in keeping’ with being hit by a shoe.

Panel chair Nicola Murphy said the panel would announce their decision on Friday.