South West Wales

Man whose fingers 'cut off by cell door' to sue police

Jamie Clark Image copyright Wales News Service

A man will sue a police force after part of three of his fingers were chopped off when a cell door was allegedly closed on his hand.

Jamie Clark, 28, won a legal battle to seize the CCTV footage of the incident at Llanelli police station, Carmarthenshire, on 20 June.

The self-employed painter is suing Dyfed-Powys Police after being cleared of assaulting a police officer.

He has complained and given the footage to the police complaints watchdog.

"I was pepper sprayed, stripped naked and bundled into a cell by half a dozen officers," said Mr Clark, of Burry Port, Carmarthenshire.

"I went to get out but that's when I felt this huge pain and felt my flesh being torn away when the door was shut.

"I was screaming in agony. I was begging the officers to open the door but no-one helped me."

Image copyright Wales News Service

The father-of-one was initially arrested after a row with his girlfriend but was accused of attempting to assault PC Christopher Burton following his arrest.

Magistrates heard he tried to bite PC Burton while he and other officers attempted to get him into a police van.

Prosecutor Dennis Davies told a hearing at Llanelli Magistrates Court in September: "As officers left the cell the defendant had his fingers trapped in the door of the cell which resulted in him losing the top of three fingers."

CCTV footage shows him naked running at the cell door as it was being closed. The court heard PC Burton found a piece of Mr Clark's finger in the hall.

"He was arrested for an offence he wasn't prosecuted for and while being detained he suffered serious injuries which will be the subject of a complaint or civil claim," said defending solicitor Patrick Llewelyn.

Image copyright Wales News Service

"We have seen evidence which suggests the police, on this occasion, deviated from the highest standards of practice."

An Independent Police Complaints Commission spokesman said: "We are independently investigating how a man sustained a serious hand injury in custody in Llanelli on 20 June.

"Investigators have reviewed CCTV footage and are assessing statements from officers. The IPCC investigation follows a referral from Dyfed-Powys Police and is ongoing."

Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed an incident occurred which left a man needing hospital treatment but said it "would be inappropriate to comment further" while the IPCC was investigating.

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