TWO police detention officers accused of assaulting a detainee say they were using recognised techniques and the force used was “proportionate” to the situation.
Durham Constabulary Sergeant Stephen Harvey, 50, and civilain detention officer Michael Mount, 61, are both accused of two counts of assault against David Healer, 48, at Peterlee Police Station.
Mr Healer is said to have been unco-operative during questioning and Mount and Harvey are accused of assaulting him to get him to answer questions, magistrates have heard.
Giving evidence during the pair’s trial today, Harvey said he rose from his seat at the booking-in counter and got Healer in an “arm bar” to try to restrain him as he “became even more physically aggressive and physically resistant of what we were doing”.
He said the technique, where the detainee’s arm is placed behind their back, is Home Office approved.
Harvey, of Fenwick Close, Chester-le-Street, added the second alleged attack, where he is said to have held Mr Healer’s arm across the counter and twisted it, was instead a form of pain stimulus to stop Mr Healer falling unconscious.
Mount, of Dunelm Road, Thornley, is said to have held Mr Healer’s arm across the counter in both incidents, but said his actions were in accordance with training in that type of situation.
The trial, at Teesside magistrates’ Court in Middlesbrough, has also heard evidence from defence expert witness Les Pybus, who is a retired police officer and police training expert, and PC Tonty Kolodziej, who was present during the alleged incident, on March 5 last year.
Character references from Sgt Harvey’s colleagues were also read out in court.
Both Harvey and Mount deny two charges each of battery.
The case continues and see more in Friday’s Mail.