Met PC Joseph Harrington 'stamped on boy's back'

  • 4 March 2013
  • From the section London

A Met police officer stamped on a teenager's back and then "dropped his whole body" on him, a court was told.

PC Joseph Harrington, 29, from Walthamstow, east London, denies assaulting the boy, then aged 15.

The incident is said to have occurred in a caged area near a custody suite shortly after the 2011 London riots.

The teenager, who cannot be named, told Southwark Crown Court the officer had put his hands around his neck in a confrontation a day or two earlier.

The teenager told the court that before the incident, on 11 August 2011, police officers had taken pictures of him and his friends in a park before returning later with riot uniforms.

'Dragged across floor'

Mr Harrington told him to leave but when he said he had nowhere to go, the police officer pushed him up against a wall, the jury heard.

When the teenager was arrested for an alleged public order offence a couple of days later, he was taken to Forest Gate police station where he was kept, with his hands cuffed in front of his body, in the cage area into which Mr Harrington walked.

The teenager told the court: "I said 'do you remember me?'. He said 'no'.

"I said 'do you remember when you did this to me?"'

The youngster showed the court how Mr Harrington allegedly put his own hands to his neck.

"He said 'it wasn't me, I wasn't there, I wasn't working those days'," he continued.

"I reminded him of it. He said 'do you want it to happen again?'

"I laughed at him. I thought I'm already arrested for something I haven't done. I'm handcuffed, in a police cage, what could get worse?"

The teenager said an older policeman then grabbed his jacket and the two officers dragged him across the floor.

'Unattractive record'

"He [Harrington] stamped on me with his foot and held me there, then dropped his whole body on me."

He said this continued for eight seconds.

The court heard the teenager had "an unattractive record of previous offences".

The jury was also told that in a note made later that evening, Mr Harrington said he was aware the youngster had a reputation for being violent and aggressive and behaved aggressively on this occasion.

The note said he therefore took him to the floor and held him down with his right foot on his left thigh and, "aware of his previous for spitting and the clear risk of contagious diseases", dropped his right knee on to his back so he could handcuff him behind his back.

Special Constable Rupinder Dayal told the court how she and another officer took the teenager from Stratford to Forest Gate.

She said: "He was completely compliant, well mannered, understood everything, he was a good prisoner, as far as it goes."

Describing the alleged attack, she said: "The officer lunged at him and grabbed him by the neck area.

"From a standing position, he ended up in a being-thrown-on-the-floor position.

"I was frozen to the spot, shocked at how my prisoner, who was completely compliant, had ended up on the other side of the cage."

The case was adjourned until Tuesday.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites