Melksham police cell assault woman tells her story

Sgt Mark Andrews dragged Pamela Somerville across the floor of the police station. CCTV provided by Wiltshire Police

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A woman who was dragged across a floor and thrown head first into a police cell by a police custody sergeant has called him a bully.

Police CCTV footage showed former soldier Sgt Mark Andrews, 37, dragging Pamela Somerville, 59, through Melksham police station in Wiltshire in July 2008.

Ms Somerville - who is 5ft 2ins - had been arrested after being found asleep in her car and was driven to the police station.

She said that she not been told why she had been arrested and thought it was a case of mistaken identity.

Head first

Andrews was sentenced to six months imprisonment at Oxford Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

Start Quote

The British public need to know the police will not treat you as if you were in a war-torn third world country,”

End Quote Pamela Somerville

Ms Somerville said: "I walked up to the custody desk to ask why I had been arrested but all I heard from the sergeant I later found was Andrews was 'shut up, shut up'".

"Then they put me in a cell.

"Later the door opened and there was a doctor outside putting on rubber gloves.

"I still didn't know why I'd been arrested or what the doctor was going to do so I went back out to custody to ask.

"I was manhandled, dragged across the floor and then thrown head first onto a concrete floor.

"My head smashed on the ground with a real force and split open - then they just left me.

"When I regained consciousness there was blood pouring everywhere so I pressed an alarm button, but it seemed ages before anyone came.

Mark Andrews arriving in court The judge told Andrews he had 'presided on an atmosphere of bullying'

"Then they came in with a cloth and left again. Eventually an ambulance was called and I was taken to hospital.

"On the way there blood started to come out of my mouth and I really thought I was going to die.

"Eventually the police told me I had been arrested for failing to give a breath test - but no one ever asked me for one.

"The police dropped the charges - they didn't convict me If I had been drinking and if I'd failed to give a breath test they would have convicted me.

"I don't know if it's the fact he's an ex-squaddie - it's as if they were all completely high.

"To me it's like they wanted to have a go at somebody.

"Basically the man's a bully and there is a reason the police have prosecuted him.

"The sentence he receives should equate to the fact the British public need to know the police will not treat you as if you were in a war-torn third world country," she added.

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