Cambridgeshire

Peterborough PCs who 'attacked Welsh accent man' get suspended sentences

PC David Littlemore and PC John Richardson Image copyright South beds news agency
Image caption John Morgan was attacked in Peterborough on 18 August by PCs David Littlemore and John Richardson

Two policemen who attacked a man after one became suspicious of his Welsh accent have been given suspended sentences.

John Morgan, 59, was attacked in Peterborough on 18 August by PCs John Richardson, 50, and David Littlemore, 35, Luton magistrates heard.

The officers confronted Mr Morgan while seeking a missing man.

The two were each sentenced to three months in jail, suspended for two years, for common assault.

They were found to have used excessive force.

'Welsh accent'

Richardson must also complete 200 hours community service while Littlemore must complete 150 hours.

They were also each ordered to pay £500 in costs, £450 compensation and an £80 victim surcharge.

Both officers were put on restricted duties while the investigation was being carried and suspended from duty following the guilty verdict. They will now face internal misconduct proceedings.

The officers, based at Thorpe Wood police station in Peterborough, saw Mr Morgan sitting on a park bench as he was out walking his Jack Russell dog, the court heard.

Mr Morgan told police he was not the missing man they were looking for, but he refused to give his name and address, magistrates were told.

The retired engineer, who has poor sight and diabetes, was approached by Littlemore who "was suspicious of him because he thought he was putting on an accent because he spoke with a Welsh accent", magistrates heard.

Mr Morgan said he was "dragged to the floor" by Littlemore and Richardson, who twisted his arms behind his back. His phone and glasses fell to the ground.

'No authority'

"He [Richardson] then stamped on my hand repeatedly and a lot of pressure was put on my back by officer one [Littlemore]. It could have killed me," said Mr Morgan.

Mike Humphreys, prosecuting, told magistrates that the PCs had "no legal authority to do what they did".

He said: "They had no lawful authority to stamp on his hand and push him to the ground. He was simply walking his dog in the park."

The court heard that the missing man, Bill King, had a black and white dog with him. Mr Morgan was released only when Littlemore confirmed via his radio that the missing man's dog was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier type - not a Jack Russell.

The pair pleaded not guilty, but were convicted by Luton magistrates.

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