Birmingham & Black Country

Officer from West Midlands Police 'hit detainee to ensure own safety'

A police custody sergeant told a court he struck a detainee 12 times on the head and face because it was the only way to ensure his own safety.

Jason Hayles, 44, denies assaulting Clinton Copeland causing him actual bodily harm at Stechford police station, Birmingham, last year.

He likened the struggle to restrain Mr Copeland, who admits trying to bite him, to grappling with a crocodile.

Mr Hayles said he "went nuclear" as he believed it was "the only option".

The prosecution alleges Mr Hayles used excessive force against the detainee after grabbing him around the neck when he lunged forward.

The officer, of West Midlands Police, told Birmingham Crown Court Mr Copeland was risk assessed as being agitated and potentially violent.

'Pushing me up'

After Mr Copeland, 30, lunged at the officers, he was "twisting and turning", Mr Hayles said.

"I could feel him pushing me up.

"At that particular time, holding his head, I knew that he was going to try and hit, bite or do something else, so I immediately put the strikes in," said Mr Hayles.

Under cross-examination from prosecutor Simon Davis, Mr Hayles insisted he had no intention to cause injury.

The trial continues.

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