Devon

Barnstaple policeman accused of broken wrist fraud

A police officer who broke his wrist when chasing a suspect lied about how the injury occurred, a court has head.

Pc Anthony Cross, 41, of Braunton, North Devon accused Steven Ousley of pushing him while he was on duty in Barnstaple.

He also lodged an application for compensation over the incident, which Mr Ousley denies.

At Exeter Crown Court, Mr Cross denies perverting the course of justice and fraud.

'Great force'

The court heard Mr Cross stopped Mr Ousley on Market Street, Barnstaple on 28 January 2010 on suspicion of being in possession of drugs.

But as he reached for his handcuffs, Mr Ousley fled.

Mr Cross later made a statement which stated Mr Ousley had hit him in the chest, causing him to fall into a bollard and break his wrist.

But Mr Ousley, who handed himself into Devon and Cornwall Police the following day and was arrested for grievous bodily harm, denied he had caused the injury and was never charged.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the incident, but it was disputed how much contact, if any, the two men had before Mr Cross fell.

Brendon Moorhouse, for the prosecution, read part of Mr Cross' statement about the incident which said: "Suddenly, and with a great deal of force, he hit me in the chest.

"The impact was such that it spun me around and forward.

"The man had no right to assault me in any way. I am completely taken aback by the force used against the police."

Mr Moorhouse told the jury: "What you see there [in the CCTV] is a police officer acting in the execution of his duty having an accident."

'Catalogue of incidents'

Mr Cross also applied to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority alleging he had been injured by Mr Ousley in the course of trying to arrest him.

Mr Ousley admitted in court to running away from Mr Cross but denied touching him.

For the defence, David Sapiecha questioned how well Mr Ousley could remember the incident as he had been drinking for several hours.

The court also heard allegations from Mr Ousley that he had been intimidated by the force following his arrest.

He said his son, 15, had been arrested and released without charge and his mother's home had been raided in a "catalogue of incidents".

The case continues.

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