British policeman filmed attacking middle-aged woman

5th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Footage showing a police sergeant assaulting a woman as he threw her into a cell emerged in Britain on Sunday, again putting the spotlight on the behaviour of some officers.

Sergeant Mark Andrews was shown attacking petite Pamela Somerville, who was then aged 57 and had been found asleep in her car in a country lane in rural Wiltshire, southwest England.

The closed circuit television (CCTV) footage showed Andrews dragging the woman across the floor of the police station and pushing her violently through the cell door, causing her to knock her head on the floor.

Andrews, 37, has now been convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and will be sentenced Tuesday. He has been suspended on full pay.

Somerville had been detained by the policeman for failing to provide a sample of a breath test in the case, which dates back to 2008. Wiltshire Police have formally apologised to her.

The tactics of some police officers came into focus during protests against last year's G20 summit in London.

One officer in London is facing misconduct proceedings after he struck newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson and pushed him to the ground shortly before he died as he walked through the protests at the summit.

Another officer who hit a female animal rights activist with his baton during the demonstrations was cleared of assault in court and will not face disciplinary action.

Figures released last week showed that over 2,000 police officers had at least three complaints made against them by a member of the public in the past year.

© 2010 AFP

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