The Real IPCC

Investigating what THE PEOPLE JUDGE TO BE UNACCEPTABLE behaviour by the British police. Brought to you by real independent researchers and observers! "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood" – Article 1: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Will Pamela Somerville Get Justice? [Update: NO!!]

Passing sentence, deputy district judge Peter Greenfield said Andrews, 37, had abused his position of trust and only a custodial sentence was appropriate.

“In my view, you presided over an atmosphere of bullying and intimidation upon Ms Somerville which culminated in the cell later that morning.

“I regard that a gross breach of trust placed upon you by Ms Somerville. I consider that right-thinking members of the public will be appalled and totally saddened by your actions as a police officer.”

Extensive CCTV video footage of the whole event:

And (of course!) here comes the appeal …

Police Officer Begins Appeal Against Conviction For Assaulting Woman

Wiltshire sergeant Mark Andrews challenges six-month prison sentence for violent episode caught on CCTV

Steven Morris, Monday 15 November 2010 14.36 GMT

A police officer found guilty of hurling a woman head-first on to a concrete cell floor, leaving her with blood pouring from a head wound, began an appeal today against his conviction and sentence.

Sergeant Mark Andrews, of Wiltshire police, claims Pamela Somerville accidentally fell as he tried to get her back into the cell, at Melksham police station.

Andrews, 37, was jailed for six months in September for assaulting Somerville. The crown claims he threw her into the cell after becoming “exasperated” at her “mouthing off”.

Andrews, a former soldier, says Somerville fell back as he tried to get her back into the cell after she slipped out past a female officer and a doctor. His team will argue he used legal holds to control her.

Sitting with two magistrates at Oxford, Mr Justice Bean watched CCTV footage of the violent episode, extracts from which caused a public outcry when they appeared in the media.

The court heard that Somerville, who was 57 at the time of the incident in July 2008, had been found asleep in the morning in a Mercedes car parked in a passing place on a quiet country lane. She was suspected of drink-driving and taken to the police station in handcuffs.

CCTV footage captures her sobbing as she is made to stand in front of Andrews, the custody sergeant. He tells her to shut up and listen. “You are in my custody now,” he says. When she asks him if she has rights, he answers: “Not at the moment.”

Somerville shrugs off a police officer holding her, and Andrews seizes her and takes her to a cell.

Later, she is taken to another room for a breath test. Somerville is heard swearing at an officer and again Andrews intervenes. She slips to the floor on her bottom and he drags her back towards her cell as she screams: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry … please … I’ll do whatever you want.”

An hour later, Somerville is seen slipping out of her cell as a female police officer and doctor visit her. Once more, Andrews steps in. The CCTV footage shows Somerville falling back into the cell. For 30 seconds she remains motionless, face down. She gets up and can be heard calling out: “Please … I’m bleeding” as blood spatters across the floor. Somerville suffered a cut above her left eye and bruising around both eyes.

Ian Hope, for the crown, said Somerville had been “picked up and thrown into the cell” by Andrews.

When he was interviewed, Andrews claimed she had fallen to the floor as she struggled. Andrews also said she had continued to swear but seemed “fine” when he left her. Hope said this was a “lie”: the CCTV footage showed she had not said anything and had not moved.

Hope said the crown accepted that Andrews’s role was demanding, and that it needed a “commanding and authoritative” figure. But he said Andrews had not conducted himself with “dignity or professionalism”, and had been “bullying and intimidating”.

The barrister accepted that Somerville’s behaviour may have “tried the patience of a saint”, but this did not justify Andrews’ use of “brute force” just because he was “exasperated” at her “mouthing off”.

Mr Justice Bean expressed surprise that Andrews had not been interviewed until a year after the incident. He was told this was because a case against Somerville had been going through the courts, though she had not been convicted of anything in relation to the episode. The judge said it seemed “illogical” that there had been such a delay before Andrews was questioned.

Andrews was suspended after his conviction. He was given bail after launching an appeal. The case continues.

And the about turn of justice … !!!

A Wiltshire policeman convicted of assaulting a woman in custody has been cleared on appeal.

18 November 2010 Last updated at 12:44

Sgt Mark Andrews, of Wiltshire Police, was filmed dragging Pamela Somerville through Melksham police station in July 2008.

The officer was found guilty of causing her actual bodily harm and jailed for six months in September.

Sgt Andrews spent six days in prison, but was released on bail pending the appeal at Oxford Crown Court.

The appeal judge, Mr Justice Bean, said after the four-day hearing he was satisfied that Sgt Andrews did not intend to throw Ms Somerville into the cell and that injuries she suffered “were probably caused by her falling to the floor after letting go of the door frame”.
‘Unpredictable prisoner’

She had been arrested for failing to take a breath test but was never prosecuted.

Sgt Andrews had been jailed for six months in September for causing Pamela Somerville actual bodily harm

After Sgt Andrews won his appeal, Wiltshire Police announced that an independent force would hold an internal conduct hearing into the officer’s behaviour in early December.

Sgt Andrews told the appeal hearing that Ms Somerville, 59, was the most unpredictable prisoner he had ever come across and that she had been abusive to both him and his colleagues.

The court was shown CCTV footage in which he is seen throwing her on to the cell floor. A minute later she staggers to her feet, with injuries to her face and eye.

Sgt Andrews told the court: “I don’t think I did anything wrong.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

We are determined to learn any lessons that emerge from this case”

End Quote Assistant Chief Constable Patrick Geenty Wiltshire Police

“She had been holding on to the cell door frame when she suddenly let go.
Insufficient evidence

“It was like pulling a cork out of a bottle.”

Ms Somerville was arrested after she was found asleep in her car near her Colerne home and had been detained for failing to provide a sample for a breath test.

She denied any wrongdoing and the charges against her were later dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Sgt Andrews’ barrister Jeremy Barton had put it to her at the appeal court that she had been so drunk on vodka the night the incident happened that she was an unreliable witness.

Mr Barton also suggested that she had refused to take a breath test because she knew how drunk she was.

Ms Somerville denied both of these claims.
Pamela Somerville after sustaining her injuries Pamela Somerville, shown in a picture released by her family, suffered injuries to her face

Sgt Andrews was suspended on full pay following his conviction and had been expected to lose his job.

Following his conviction, Assistant Chief Constable Patrick Geenty said he was “a disgrace” to the force and added: “There is no place in Wiltshire Police for an officer like this.”

Mr Geenty said at the time he fully supported the comments of the trial judge, Deputy District Judge Peter Greenfield, who said the officer had “presided over an atmosphere of bullying and intimidation upon Ms Somerville”.

Following Sgt Andrews’ conviction being quashed, Mr Geenty said due to the high-profile nature of the case the result of the conduct hearing into the officer’s behaviour would be made public.

He said: “Sgt Andrews will remain suspended from duty until the conduct hearing and in accordance with national police regulations he will continue to receive full pay for as long as he remains a member of the force.

“Although this appeal hearing has concluded that no criminal offences had been committed we are determined to learn any lessons that emerge from this case and we welcome the fact that the Wiltshire Police Authority has commenced its own independent review of our custody practices.”

And why did justice not prevail? Police Have No “Duty Of Care” Toward The Public … It’s The Law!

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