Hartlepool suspect left police officer with brain injury as he tried to escape, court told

Court News
Court News

A POLICEMAN was left struggling to remember his children’s names after being left with a head injury as he tried to arrest a Hartlepool man, a court was told.

Detective Sergeant Brian Gibbons was injured after he fell during a struggle with Michael Gales. The officer had Glasgow’s Buchanan Street Bus Station to arrest Gales and Peter Smyth.

But he claimed that when he and DC Neil Guy tried to arrest Gales, he tried to escape and they all fell to the ground.

Giving evidence at Glasgow Sheriff Court, DS Gibbons said his head hit the ground and that he couldn’t remember anything else until being in hospital later.

He said that as well as suffering tendon damage in his shoulder and damage to his thumb he suffered a cognitive impairment.

Gales, 37, faces charges of resisting, obstructing or hindering DC Guy and possession of a knife on December 14, 2013.

He is also accused of assaulting DS Gibbons by struggling with him, repeatedly pushing him, cause his head to strike the ground to his loss of consciousness, permanent impairment and to the danger of his life.

DS Gibbons, who has 19 years service, said that he saw Gales coming off the bus and went to get him with DC Guy.

He added: “I approached him and identified myself as a police officer and told him to stop and shouted ‘police’.

“Through him failing to comply with instructions that were given which was stop, there was motion and the three of us ended up crashing on to the concourse area, the pavement area at the bus station.

“Basically the three of us became one.”

DS Gibbons said his colleague tried to apply handcuffs to Gales but he raised his hands and refused to stand still.

CCTV footage of the alleged offences was played to the court in which DS Gibbons was seen in the footage getting up from the ground and touching his head before going to help his colleagues with Smyth’s arrest, although he confirmed he couldn’t remember that happening.

Asked what he remembered, the officer said: “In terms of my own memory I was concussed and dazed. I came to properly just prior to being sent home from the Royal Infirmary after previously coming to on a CT scan to check if there was damage or internal bleeding to my brain.”

Speaking about how he was after the alleged assault, DS Gibbons told the court: “When I was talking to the children in the house, their names were all wrong.”

Asked if that was his own children he said “yes”.

He said he struggled with colleagues’ names and with explaining to his doctor what was wrong.

DS Gibbons said that he uses memoirs to help him through his working day including recording briefings and using notes to help him.

He explained that at home he has methods to help him remember what has to do, and told the jury his wife has to write down each day what he has to do after work or he doesn’t remember it.

DS Gibbons claimed he was assessed and found to have a cognitive impairment. He said that he returned to work on full duties in May, last year although no longer does high speed response driving because he doesn’t have full movement in his right shoulder.

Smyth, 36, is accused of assaulting PCs Eric Joiner and Gillian Russell by struggling violently.

Both Gales and Smyth deny the charges against them and the trial before sheriff Paul Crozier continues.