Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Cell attack woman 'feels let down'

A woman thrown head-first on to the concrete floor of a cell says she feels "let down" by the six-month jail term given to the police sergeant who attacked her.

Sgt Mark Andrews was caught on CCTV dragging Pamela Somerville, 59, across the floor of Melksham police station in Wiltshire before shoving her into the cell.

Ms Somerville was arrested in July 2008 after being found asleep in her car. She was detained for failing to provide a sample for a breath test but never charged.

After Andrews was jailed at Oxford Magistrates' Court, Ms Somerville said: "I've had two years of hell and he's got six months. He'll be out after three months.

"I feel let down by the sentencing but I don't feel let down by the police standards officers who investigated it. I think they did everything they could.

"It just seems a low sentence for what he did. I'm not sure it would have been the same if a member of the public did it."

Ms Somerville was taken to Royal United Hospital in Bath and needed stitches in a gash above her left eye.

She is now facing the prospect of an operation to save the sight in the eye.

Passing sentence, Deputy District Judge Peter Greenfield said Andrews had abused his position of trust and only a custodial sentence was appropriate.

He said: "In my view, you presided over an atmosphere of bullying and intimidation upon Ms Somerville which culminated in the cell later that morning."


From Belfast Telegraph