Essex

Essex PC 'mocked' self-harming police cell suspect

Chelmsford Civic Centre
Image caption A police misconduct panel at Chelmsford's Civic Centre heard four officers were accused of breaching standards

A police officer mocked a vulnerable suspect while he was self-harming inside a holding cell, a misconduct tribunal heard.

The man was arrested in 2016 after he was found with 33 wraps of cocaine.

Once in a police cell, he repeatedly struck his head against a wall. Essex Police allege four officers failed in their duty of care to the suspect.

PCs Christopher Hinds, Andrew Myers, Daniel Sorrell and Eamon Al-Rawi deny all allegations against them.

PC Myers is also denies mocking the suspect, only named as Mr B at the misconduct panel hearing, at Basildon police station.

Stephen Morley, for Essex Police, said Mr B had a criminal record and a history of mental health issues.

'Mocked and laughed'

The tribunal was shown CCTV footage in which Mr B repeatedly smashed his head against the wall.

Mr Morley said rather than trying to stop Mr B from harming himself, officers stood outside the cell talking to one another or using a mobile phone.

PC Myers also "mocked and laughed at him and imitated his behaviour", Mr Morley said.

After about 20 minutes in the holding cell, Mr B is shown to be kneeing the wall while outside, said Mr Morley, PC Al-Rawi was "telling a story that is making everybody laugh".

"If they are laughing at a story while somebody is self harming then they are failing in their duties," said Mr Morley.

After about half an hour, PC Myers is shown taking Mr B a drink before sitting down and talking to him with the cell door open.

The officers claim they did not go into the cell when Mr B was agitated because of a perceived risk of harm to themselves and further injury to Mr B, who later received hospital for treatment to cuts and bruising.

The case continues.

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