Wednesday, June 08, 2011

British cop 'beat teenage French tourist for urinating in public until he was dripping with blood'

A police officer assaulted a young French tourist and left him needing hospital treatment after spotting him urinating in a bush, a court heard today. Pc John Caulfield chased Charles Quichaud down the street before delivering a series of blows to his head, face and chest as he lay curled up on the ground, it was claimed.

Local residents who witnessed the alleged attack initially mistook Caulfield for a mugger but then realised he was a uniformed officer, the jury was told on the first day of his trial.

Mr Quichaud, then 19, was on a three-week holiday in London on August 27, 2009 and had been drinking with a friend and some other young people in the middle of trendy Hoxton Square. On needing to relieve himself, he headed for the bushes in a corner of the square where Caulfield, who was on patrol, saw him urinating.

Realising he had been caught in the act, Mr Quichaud fled to a nearby bar, chased by the officer, who then left without challenging the young man, Southwark Crown Court in London heard.

But on emerging from the bar, the teenager noticed Caulfield and again fled, this time along a road and into a housing estate, prosecutor Philip McGhee said. 'Mr Quichaud recalls only that he ended up on the floor receiving blows to his body from the police officer,' the prosecutor told the court.

'Local residents, alerted to something going on by the sounds of distress, looked out and saw what was going on.

'They will say variously that they saw a young man on the floor, curled or in the foetal position on the ground, receiving punches to the head, face and upper body, the chest, from someone they thought at first was a mugger but in fact realised was a uniformed police officer.' None said they saw Mr Quichaud struggling or reacting, he added.

Dripping with blood, Mr Quichaud was handcuffed, arrested for urinating in a public place and taken to hospital in an ambulance, accompanied by Caulfield, the court heard. He received stitches to his right eyebrow and treatment for cuts under his eye and behind his ear, he said. He later underwent an operation on his nose, which was allegedly broken in the incident.

Caulfield is charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, which he denies. The police officer claimed he had been attacked by the tourist and had 'simply defended himself', Mr McGhee said.

'He claimed...anything he did was the use of reasonable force to effect an arrest or defend himself from attack,' the prosecutor told the jury.

'The prosecution says that whatever happened, what Pc Caulfield did to Mr Quichaud was not lawful.'

The Frenchman, from Angouleme in the west of the country but now living in London, described the chase that he says culminated in the attack.

Giving evidence through an interpreter, he said: 'I was running...I didn't know where I was and then I remember being on the ground. 'I don't remember exactly how but I didn't fall of my own accord, I was pushed to the ground by the policeman. 'There were blows to my head to my face. I'd never been hit before and I hope I will never be hit like that again.'

He had protected his head with his hands, he said, while the police officer stood next to him and seemed to kick him 'at least five times'. He had been unable to put up any resistance, he added.

When the attack stopped, blood was dripping from his face, he was bleeding from his eyebrow and behind his ear, had blood in his mouth and throat and was in pain and in tears, the court heard.

Original report here

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