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Claim man suffered broken wrists when he was 'shoved' into back of police Land Rover rejected by Police Ombudsman

An officer was disciplined for breaching police guidelines about the way the man was spoken to during his arrest

Published 07/04/2016

Police Land Rover
Police Land Rover

A complaint that a man suffered broken wrists when he was “shoved” into the back of a police Land Rover while handcuffed behind his back, has been rejected by the Police Ombudsman.

The incident happened in north Belfast in May 2015.

The man told investigators that he was handcuffed and offering no resistance to officers when they “shoved” him face first into the back of the Land Rover. He said a number of officers then sat on him - causing him difficulty breathing.

He claimed to have suffered two broken wrists and severe bruising to his upper arms and left torso.

However, a hospital examination showed that his wrists had not been broken and he had instead sustained only “bruising, redness and warmth” to both wrists and a thumb. No other injuries were noted.

Police records also indicated that when asked whether he had any injuries while being taken into custody at a police station, the man said “no”.

The officers involved in the incident said they had “assisted” him into the Land Rover in the normal way after arresting him for disorderly behaviour.

They said he had not shouted out in pain as they would have expected if he had broken his wrists.

They added that he had been acting aggressively and was placed in the recovery position on the floor of the Land Rover where one of the officers held his legs to prevent him kicking out.

While rejecting the man’s complaint about the level of force used during the incident, the Police Ombudsman's investigation upheld an allegation about the way he was spoken to during his arrest.

An officer has since been disciplined for breaching police guidelines.

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