Legal review over cell-shove policeman Mark Andrews
- 30 January 2012
- From the section Wiltshire
A police force is seeking a judicial review of an order for it to reinstate an officer who was sacked after throwing a woman on to a cell floor.
Sgt Mark Andrews was jailed in September 2010 for assault and later sacked by Wiltshire Police, despite the quashing of his conviction.
The force was ordered last month to reinstate Sgt Andrews to his £36,000-a-year job and award him back pay.
It is now seeking to overturn that Police Appeals Tribunal ruling.
The force, which has yet to give Sgt Andrews his job back, said it was "surprised and disappointed" at the time of the tribunal's ruling of December 2011.
His trial had been shown CCTV footage captured in July 2008 in which he is seen dragging Pamela Somerville, 60, across the floor of Melksham police station and throwing her on to the floor of a cell.
The officer was found guilty of causing Ms Somerville actual bodily harm and jailed for six months in September 2010.
Sgt Andrews spent six days in prison but was bailed ahead of an appeal hearing against his conviction at Oxford Crown Court, which he won in November 2010.
His conviction was quashed after the appeal judge felt satisfied that Sgt Andrews had not intended to throw Ms Somerville into the cell.
But despite that ruling Wiltshire Police sacked the officer, saying that, while not criminal, his behaviour had fallen "well below the standards expected".
Speaking at the time of the decision to sack the officer in December 2010, Allan Johns, chairman of Wiltshire Police Authority's professional standards committee, said: "There is little doubt that the substantial media coverage and custody CCTV footage has damaged the reputation of the force and those who work within it."
Ms Somerville had been arrested after she was found asleep in her car near her Colerne home.
Police claimed she was detained for failing to provide a sample for a breath test.
She denied any wrongdoing and the charges against her were dropped due to insufficient evidence.