#439715 - 28th Oct 20104:02pmStab victim suing Merseyside Police
Stab victim suing Merseyside Police over claim he was beaten by bobbies as he lay bleeding in Stanley Park
A STAB victim is suing Merseyside Police claiming he was beaten by bobbies as he lay bleeding in a city park.
Video footage shows the officers repeatedly punch Darren Grace with their fists as he was restrained on the grass in Stanley Park.
Today Merseyside Police accused the Anfield joiner of being violent towards the officers adding “CCTV images can never show the whole story”.
After being shown the tape by the ECHO, the force voluntarily referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
But the watchdog said it was happy for Merseyside Police to conduct its own investigation and it is now the subject of a Professional Standards Department probe.
Mr Grace has not lodged a formal complaint with Merseyside Police and will not co-operate with the internal inquiry saying he has no confidence in the force.
The 31-year-old, of Manningham Road, was initially charged with two counts of assaulting a police officer – charges which were eventually dropped when Crown Prosecution Service lawyers saw the tape and realised there wasn’t enough evidence “to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction”.
Today Mr Grace told the ECHO how he staggered disorientated into Stanley Park in the early hours of Sunday, August 1 after being knifed in the head during a party at a friend’s house.
He said: “I was round at a friend’s house and then some more people came round and one of them went for me with a knife. He got me in the head and it was bleeding. I was confused and just wanted to get out.”
Mr Grace was found by the officers in Stanley Park lying down with blood gushing from his head. The footage, from a camera operated by Liverpool City Council’s Citywatch scheme, shows the three officers – two men and a woman – apparently trying to help Mr Grace who appears confused and slightly agitated.
One of the officers goes to get a first aid kit to treat the gash.
But as Mr Grace seems to try to resist treatment one officer rains down a volley of eight punches onto his injured head – the woman police officer puts her hand on his arm.
Five minutes later, just before 8am, both she and the other officer appear to punch Mr Grace in the head and back as he lies face down on the ground.
A few minutes later nine more police officers, and then an ambulance crew, arrive on the scene and Mr Grace is handcuffed and led away.
After receiving basic treatment Mr Grace was held in a cell at the St Anne’s Street station and spent 11 hours in custody.
He said: “I remember waking up in the cell with my face covered in blood, my head throbbing. I could feel the cut where I’d been stabbed.”
The three officers involved remain on duty and no disciplinary action has yet been taken.
Superintendent Mike Shaw, from Merseyside Police’s Professional Standards Department, told the ECHO: “As a police force we expect the highest standards from our officers. Where those standards are found to be breached disciplinary action is taken.
“At about 7.45am on Sunday, August 1 officers were called to a disturbance in Butterfield Street in Anfield in which it was reported that a male had been stabbed.
“Enquiries led officers to Stanley Park. Upon arrival they found Mr Grace with head injuries in need of medical assistance. During the course of administering medical assistance to Mr Grace he became violent towards the officers.
“In this case I understand that members of the public will be concerned when watching this footage. However I would like to stress that cctv images can never show the whole story.
“The Professional Standards Department has been in contact with Mr Grace and his legal representatives and have been advised that there will be no complaint against police at this time and that Mr Grace does not want to take part in any misconduct investigation.
“Nevertheless, in order to understand the full circumstances of the incident the Professional Standards Department has launched an investigation. This will include looking at the circumstances that initially led police to Mr Grace, the circumstances around his arrest and the circumstances which led to the discontinuation by the CPS.
“It is important not to prejudge the outcome of the investigation. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment further at this time.
“This matter was voluntarily referred to the IPCC in recognition of the public concern it may generate and the IPCC are happy that Merseyside Police carry out its own local investigation.”
Mr Grace claims he now suffers nightmares and insomnia and feels anxious whenever he sees bobbies on the beat.
Solicitor Paula Satchell, a partner at Anfield-based Paul Crowley Solicitors, is preparing Mr Grace’s civil case against Merseyside Police.
She told the ECHO her client is claiming wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and assault.
I can see that some of thoes blows were to the arm joints, shoulders etc. we used to use thoes `shots` in martial arts to deaden an area. They had a difficult `patient` there, some of their tactics i can agree with but then again some are WAY OVER THE TOP!
IF IT HAS A HOSE THEN IM YOUR MAN