British policeman jailed after attack caught on film

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A British policeman caught on closed circuit television (CCTV) violently throwing a woman into a cell was jailed for six months Tuesday for assault.

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, in July 2008.

She was detained for failing to provide a sample for a breath test.

CCTV footage, which was widely published this week, showed Andrews dragging the woman across the floor of the police station and pushing her through a cell door, causing her to knock her head on the floor. She later required stitches.

The 37-year-old former soldier was convicted of assault causing actual bodily harm in July this year.

He was sentenced to six months in jail by a court in Oxford, southern England, Tuesday.

Jailing him, Deputy District Judge Peter Greenfield said: "I consider that right thinking members of the public will be appalled and totally saddened by your actions as a police officer."

The policeman's lawyer immediately launched an appeal.

British police have been under particular scrutiny since a man died during protests against last year's G20 summit in London just minutes after being struck and pushed to the ground by an officer.

That policeman is facing misconduct proceedings.

Somerville received a formal apology from Wiltshire Police following the assault.

© 2010 AFP

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