West Midlands Police officer guilty of custody assault

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The custody suiteImage source, Google
Image caption,
The charges arose from concerns over the use of force at the custody unit in Perry Barr, Birmingham

A police custody sergeant has been found guilty of assaulting a suspect who was detained by officers.

Sgt Nathan Legend, of West Midlands Police, was charged amid concerns over the use of force against the man at the force's Perry Barr custody unit on 22 December.

He was found guilty of two charges of assault by beating at Birmingham Magistrates Court.

The 31-year-old was ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was also told to pay prosecution costs of £630 and a victim surcharge of £90.

The charges against him came after an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

It said Legend put the man in a rear headlock when he became verbally uncooperative, while being booked into custody.

After he was taken to the floor and restrained, Legend struck him several times in the face.

He then placed his foot on the man's head for about 30 seconds after he had been rolled to his front and handcuffed, the watchdog added.

The officer later used a "leg sweep" to take the handcuffed man to the floor in his cell, at which point he hit and injured his head.

Derrick Campbell, of the IOPC, said: "The court has clearly taken the view that the officer, whose role involves ensuring the welfare of detainees, went beyond what was necessary to ensure control of the man in a custody environment."

The watchdog said steps would be taken to progress disciplinary proceedings with West Midlands Police, which declined to comment.

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