The police watchdog has condemned as “a form of torture” the actions of two cops from County Durham convicted of assault at a police station.
David Healer, 48, screamed in agony when he had his arm forced behind his back by police custody sergeant Stephen Harvey, 50, so he would answer questions.
The assault at Peterlee police station, County Durham, was witnessed by two Durham Police officers and by 61-year-old civilian Detention Officer Michael Mount, who also grabbed and twisted Mr Healer’s arm.
Mount claimed he thought Mr Healer, a DIY shop boss, was about to fall and be injured. The shopkeeper said he was so frightened by the attack last March that he thought he would die.
The police constables who witnessed the attack will now be tried for misconduct, an IPCC spokesman said.
Harvey, of Chester-le-Street, and Mount, of Thornley, both County Durham, were convicted following a two-day trial at Teesside Magistrates’ Court.
They argued they had used reasonable force to restrain Mr Healer, who had been arrested on suspicion of breaching bail conditions and who had assaulted a police officer.
Chairman of Bench Oliver Johnson said the bench had deliberated long and hard over their decision.
He said: “In our view this way exceeded what was necessary for this purpose. We saw no sign of any aggression from Mr Healer and found the suggestion that he may fall was implausible as there was two Pcs behind him and he was slumped over a desk.”
Sentence was adjourned until April 20, for reports. The men were released on unconditional bail.