Islington Pc praised for cuffing colleague after he punched a suspect
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A policeman who cuffed a fellow cop after he punched a suspect in the face at Islington Police Station has made his police chief “very proud”.
Det Ch Supt Gerry Campbell, Islington’s borough commander, praised the bravery of Pc David O’Hara who arrested colleague Pc Rohan Scarlett for assaulting a suspect as he put him in a police van at the Tolpuddle Street precinct.
Scarlett, 47, was found guilty of punching Andrew Uba after the suspect spat in his face in the early hours of February 20.
Highbury Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday that Scarlett, a former nightclub doorman and security guard, wiped his face, opened the vehicle door and then intentionally “launched” himself at Mr Uba, punching him twice.
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The officer, who denied common assault, was then handcuffed and arrested by Pc O’Hara who told him he was in a “world of trouble”. Pc O’Hara told magistrates he tried to pull Scarlett, a father-of-two from Croydon, off the suspect but was not strong enough.
He said he told his colleague, “we don’t do that”, to which Scarlett replied, “yeah we do” – allegations denied by the defendant.
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Dilichi Onuzo, prosecuting, said to Scarlett: “You were so disgusted at being spat at you launched at Mr Uba and punched him.”
The court was also shown a photograph from the scene in which a small pool of blood was on the seat where Mr Uba had been sitting.
The burly 6ft 1in officer told magistrates he had struggled walking a reluctant Mr Uba to the vehicle. He claimed he had been forced to hit Mr Uba to stop him spitting at him a further time.
Speaking to the Gazette, Det Ch Supt Campbell, said: “He saw something that was quite clearly against the law and took strong, decisive action. He was faced with a very difficult situation but he has done the right thing – he shown courage and fortitude. He is right, we don’t do that here. I am very proud of what he did.”
Chair of the bench Sue Rose said: “We do not accept that the defendant honestly believed that he needed to use force to defend himself in these circumstances.”
The officer, who is suspended, will be sentenced in September. His defence barrister, Tom Godfrey, said his client would be appealing the verdict.