Norfolk’s first public police misconduct hearing told complainant punched an officer in the face
- Credit: James Bass
A man who claims he was assaulted by a policeman had drunk a bottle of vodka and was resisting arrest, a misconduct hearing heard.
George Watty, 52, alleges that PC Ben Pitman smashed his head into handcuffs during an arrest in Great Yarmouth on February 13, 2015.
PC Pitman denies this claim, arising from a call to reports of a domestic incident at a home in North River Road.
Sergeant Rachel Shearing was one of the officers who arrived after lone officer PC Darren Cunningham radioed for back-up.
She told the second day of a hearing at Norfolk Constabulary's Wymondham headquarters that there appeared to have been a scuffle between PC Cunningham and Mr Watty.
A woman at the address told her that Mr Watty had drunk a bottle of vodka and punched a police officer in the face, Sgt Shearing said.
She said Mr Watty was 'very difficult to deal with', a 'very big chap', 'verbally aggressive' and 'clearly intoxicated'.
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She added that he kicked the alarm strip in the prison van and kept gritting his teeth and puffing his chest out.
'It was almost like he had taken drugs he was that erratic,' she said.
She said that Mr Watty claimed that the arresting officer, PC Darren Cunningham, had hit him, and that Mr Watty had blood on his head before she and PC Pitman, who was also called as back-up, arrived in the room.
PC Barry Sills said that it took four police officers to restrain Mr Watty.
Questioned by Susannah Stevens, counsel for PC Pitman, he denied there was a 'clique' among some officers.
The hearing is set to continue today, when Ms Stevens is expected to make an application for the case against PC Pitman to be dismissed.