Thursday, August 16, 2012

Two London Police officers 'smashed their way into aircraft engineer's home with a battering ram and kidnapped him'

Two Met police officers will face a court trial in a rare private prosecution over claims they smashed their way into a man’s home and kidnapped him.

Sergeant Gareth Blackburn, 38, and Detective Constable Stephen MacDonald, 42, were summoned to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court today to face allegations of affray, burglary, aggravated burglary, misconduct in public office, kidnap and false imprisonment.

It is alleged they unlawfully entered the home of former aircraft engineer Michael Doherty, 40, in West Drayton, Middlesex and forcibly removed him.

Mr Doherty, who has brought the private prosecution against the officers, claims they smashed their way into his home with a battering ram in front of his terrified wife and daughter on September 4 2008.

Doherty had reported a crime to police but when they failed to take action he repeatedly phoned the police station.

He was then accused of harassing a civilian worker at the station and the two officers came to his address to arrest him.

According to the summons, issued by District Judge Deborah Wright at Uxbridge Magistrates court in west London last month, the two officers trespassed and 'attempted to inflict grievous bodily harm on the home owner.'

The summons says: 'You were on the property as a trespasser and you threatened to smash down a glass-panelled door which the homeowner was holding closed. 'You threatened and used a battering ram to support your threat of violence. The occupants were caused fear for their personal safety. 'You wilfully failed to perform your duty to such a degree that it amounted to an abuse of the public trust which had been placed in you.'

Both officers are alleged to have carried Doherty away 'when you had no lawful authority to do so. 'There was no consent from the victim and you used unlawful violence to carry out this kidnap.'

'You were tasked to carry out enquiries into allegations of harassment, however when lawfully refused entry to the home of Mr Doherty you did without lawful authority force entry into their private home,' it says.

The officers, who remain on full duties and gave their address as Uxbridge Police Station, will appear at Southwark Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on October 19.

The issuing of a summons by a district judge against police officers is extremely rare. Criminal cases are usually brought by the Crown Prosecution Service. The Metropolitan police opposed the granting of the summons.

Original report here

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