Two West Midlands Police officers accused of false imprisonment of a man they arrested have been acquitted – but the allegations will now be further scrutinised as part of an internal misconduct investigation, it emerged today.
Pcs Louise Taylor and Andrew Wagg were suspended from the force following the alleged false imprisonment of a man who was arrested for breach of the peace in Lozells Road, Handsworth, in November 2011.
Pc Taylor, aged 34 of Great Barr, and Pc Wagg, 29, of Kings Norton, were due to stand trial at Stafford Crown Court yesterday but the case was dismissed. Mr Robert Price, prosecuting, said the man had been stopped in his car and issued a fixed penalty notice at 7.50pm on November 13 for possession of cannabis. His vehicle was impounded and he was arrested after allegedly becoming aggressive, the court heard.
Mr Price had told the court that the officers should have taken the man to the police station or his home nearby and that they had ignored directions to his address.
The court heard that he was driven in the ‘opposite direction’ to his home and sustained a head injury, before being taken to Birmingham Central police station, arriving at 8.46pm.
He was then taken to Birmingham City Hospital for treatment.
The officers said the man declined to give his address when asked and Pc Wagg did not think to check the form. Mr Adrian Keeling, defending Pc Wagg, said they had followed instructions from a sergeant to arrest him, take him away from the scene, assess whether he calmed down and, if so, de-arrest him and take him home.
He said it was alleged the man was driven ‘a mile or so’ away before being asked to step out of the vehicle to be de-arrested, but instead struggled and was injured. Mr Keeling said: “There is nothing wrong we submit with this man being arrested, being taken away from the scene to see if he calms down.”
Mr Brian Dean, defending Pc Taylor, argued that the man had been inside the police car for considerably less time than suggested.
Judge Amjad Nawaz said there was no evidence which could render the detention unlawful and recorded a not guilty verdict for the pair.
Both officers were based at Birmingham Central police station before being suspended in April when they were charged.
After the case, CI Debra Doyle, from the force’s professional standards department, added: “The allegations will now be scrutinised as part of an internal misconduct investigation.”