Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Man 'violently flung' during HS2 event in Rotherham

Bramley Parish Council Hall and Richard Dickinson's back Image copyright Google/RichardDickinson
Image caption Richard Dickinson said he suffered a back injury when he was "flung" by a security guard

Protesters who were prevented from accessing an HS2 drop-in event claim unnecessary force was used by security in blocking their entry.

It is claimed a man suffered a back injury when he was "violently flung" during a "peaceful protest" at Bramley Parish Hall, Rotherham.

The event, on Friday, was to inform the public about proposed changes to the HS2 rail line route in the area.

HS2 said the event was closed "for a short while" due to crowd numbers.

Richard Dickinson said his shirt was ripped when he was grabbed by a security guard.

"He grabbed hold of me, pushed me against the wall into a door, scraped me across the wall and just chucked me into the people who were coming inside the building," Mr Dickinson said.

"It was totally out of order, we were protesting peacefully and this guy just suddenly lost his temper for no reason at all."

'Witnesses in tears'

A formal complaint was made and a statement was given to police.

Robert Foulds, clerk to Bramley Parish Council, wrote to the HS2 chairman claiming some witnesses were "in tears" when Mr Dickinson was "violently flung across the lobby".

The security firm, Churchill Security Ltd, said: "Our security staff are all highly trained and as a company we would never condone any inappropriate behaviour by any of our employees."

A spokesman for the firm said the security guard's conduct had been "vindicated" by police, but South Yorkshire Police said enquiries were ongoing.

An HS2 spokesperson said: "No restrictions were in place on those participating from the peaceful march from entering the event.

"However, due to the significant number of people, the room was simply not big enough to accommodate everyone inside the venue."

Image copyright HS2
Image caption The newly proposed route (purple) will pass between Rotherham and Doncaster as opposed to the original route (yellow) which passed between Sheffield and Rotherham

New route proposals see the HS2 line passing between Rotherham and Doncaster, with plans for a station in Meadowhall scrapped in favour of a stop in Sheffield city centre.

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