A Greater Manchester Police officer has been found guilty of common assault following an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The conviction relates to an incident in Chadderton Custody Suite on 15 July 2012 in which the officer, Sergeant Richard Miller, dragged student Jonathan Rushambara across the floor of the police station.

The IPCC investigation found that Sgt Miller used excessive and inappropriate force.

Mr Rushambara had been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer during an incident earlier that day. It transpired he had sustained a broken arm during the arrest, however the IPCC found that there was no evidence that this was as a result of deliberate, excessive force.

Officers were unaware of Mr Rushambara’s injury following his arrest, however it is reported that he protested that he was in in pain, required medical attention and that he could not get out of the police van. Despite this, Sgt Miller dragged Mr Rushambara by his handcuffs across the floor into the police station and to a cell.

Sgt Miller was found guilty following a trial at Manchester Magistrates’ Court. He has been fined £500 and ordered to pay costs and compensation.

The IPCC stated that Sgt Miller had ‘abused his position of authority’ and Greater Manchester Police have said the guilty verdict meant there were now ‘internal misconduct matters’ to be addressed and that they would ‘be in liaison with the IPCC’ over Sgt Miller’s future career.

IPCC commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone said CCTV footage of the incident was ‘truly shocking’.

He continued: ‘Using handcuffs to drag a detainee through a custody suite is wholly inappropriate – to do it to someone who is injured and screaming out in pain is inhumane. Sgt Miller tried to defend his actions by saying he was dealing with an ‘unwilling and non-compliant’ detainee [but] that is no defence. He acted unprofessionally and abused his position of authority’.

At Farleys we have an Actions Against the Police department and our solicitors are fully experienced in bringing claims against the police where they have acted inappropriately. For further information or to speak to us about pursuing a claim against the Police, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.

By Kelly Darlington, Actions Against the Police Solicitor