Case study: Avon & Somerset - disbelieved by court

PC Jason Vernon

PC Jason Vernon

Jason Vernon feels police officers get a raw deal from the courts, after magistrates refused to believe his account of an assault.

The Avon & Somerset PC and a colleague spotted a suspect who was wanted over a domestic incident. They blocked his path with the police car and PC Vernon tried to apprehend the man, who became abusive and was resisting arrest. A scuffle broke out and moments later three of the suspect’s friends appeared and confronted the officers.

PC Vernon said: "I could see my colleague in a confrontation with these men but I couldn’t help him as I was still trying to restrain this suspect."

At that moment a relative of the man PC Vernon was grappling with, decided to intervene. He struck the offcer with a blow to the face, catching his eye, which started to water profusely. Police back-up arrived and the suspect and his relative were arrested. However at court the defence accused the offcers of making the assault up.

PC Vernon said: "I was told ‘you’re lying’. I said I was not and his client had struck me when there was no need for it. The court believed them and dismissed the case – we couldn’t believe it."

Incidents like this have caused PC Vernon to lose some faith in the justice system. He has also been spat at, punched and bitten and said compensation awards are rarely enforced.

Main page - Assaults: Protect The Protectors