Beds, Herts & Bucks

Policemen 'chased autistic man Faruk Ali for fun'

Christopher Thomas and Christopher Pitts Image copyright SOUTH BEDS NEWS AGENCY
Image caption Bedfordshire police officers Christopher Thomas and Christopher Pitts both deny the charges against them

Two police officers chased an autistic man putting out bins for "fun", a court has heard.

Bedfordshire PCs Christopher Thomas and Christopher Pitts are accused of pursuing Faruk Ali, 33, in a police car before PC Thomas attacked him.

Aylesbury Crown Court was played a video from the in-car camera of the officers laughing before PC Thomas chased Mr Ali on foot, in Luton.

PC Thomas, 33, of Welwyn Garden City, denies racially aggravated assault.

'Their own amusement'

He and PC Pitts, 39, from Bedford, both deny perverting the course of justice and two counts of misconduct in a public office.

The prosecution said the officers followed Mr Ali for "fun" and "their own amusement" rather than any "legitimate policing reason".

Prosecutor David Richards said: "The accused are serving police officers.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Faruk Ali was helping to put out bins when he was assaulted by PC Christopher Thomas, the jury heard

"They chased a vulnerable man for no proper reason whatsoever."

He said Mr Ali, who has the mental age of a three or four-year-old child, got up early each Thursday to help put out the bins in his street.

The jury also heard that Mr Ali wore a badge which identified him as autistic, but it was not known if he was wearing it on the day of the alleged attack outside his home.

On 20 February, PC Pitts was driving when the two officers saw Mr Ali and they were heard laughing as he started jogging, the court was told.

PC Thomas was seen by a neighbour to get out of the car and attack Mr Ali by the bins, the jury was told.

He is then alleged to have struck Mr Ali again on the floor of his home.

Mr Ali ran from the hall to the back of the house, followed by the officer, but was stopped by his sister who got in between them.

PC Pitts left the car and also went into the house.

When they were asked what they were doing, the officers said Mr Ali may have been a burglar, or a robber and could have had a knife and stabbed someone.

The pair were charged following a Leicestershire Police investigation for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, continues.

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