Officer loses appeal over assaulting man in custody

Police custody officer Sgt Stephen Harvey, right, and civilian detention officer, Michael Mount, left, assault David Healer in the custody suite at Peterlee Police station.
Police custody officer Sgt Stephen Harvey, right, and civilian detention officer, Michael Mount, left, assault David Healer in the custody suite at Peterlee Police station.
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A CUSTODY sergeant has failed in his bid to overturn two assault convictions at a County Durham prison.

Stephen Harvey, 50, from Chester-le-Street, appealed alongside civilian detention officer Michael Mount after they were convicted of assaulting David Healer at Peterlee Police Station.

While Mr Mount, from Thornley, was cleared at Teesside Crown Court of assaulting Mr Healer in March last year, Sgt Harvey’s conviction was upheld.

At the initial hearing, CCTV footage showed Harvey place Mr Healer, from Seaham, in an armlock when he failed to answer admittance procedure questions.

Mount was also seen on camera holding his other arm across the desk.

The second charge arose from Harvey pulling Mr Healer’s arm across the counter and twisting it three times while Mount again held it down.

They claimed they were acting accordingly in the circumstances.

Solicitor Stephen Gowland, speaking on behalf of his client Mr Healer, said: “It is unfortunate that Mr Healer has once again had to relive the trauma of his assault, especially when, Durham police Deputy Chief Constable, Mike Barton, confirmed after the original hearing that, ‘this was clearly a case where there has been a use of excessive force.’

“In the year this assault occurred, 23 people died in police custody in England and Wales.

“My client thought he was going to die in the police station and be part of those statistics.”

Mr Healer is suing Durham police.