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Lowestoft sergeant's trial continues

PUBLISHED: 08:24 05 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:21 05 July 2010

A POLICEMAN told a jury yesterday (Wednesday) how he was "shocked" when he saw his supervising sergeant strike a handcuffed burglar twice across the head with his baton.

A POLICEMAN told a jury yesterday (Wednesday) how he was “shocked” when he saw his supervising sergeant strike a handcuffed burglar twice across the head with his baton.

Andrew Jervis, 41, of Suffolk police, is said to have struck Ashley Whitwam after he had been restrained by three constables, when he was caught breaking into slot machines, Norwich Crown Court was told.

The officer, based in Lowestoft, Suffolk, then attempted to cover up the alleged incident. The prosecution claim Jervis encouraged the three “inexperienced” constables who attended the incident not to reveal his role in the arrest.

After being taken to Lowestoft police station, Mr Whitwam, who was later convicted of the burglary, complained about his treatment at the hands of Jervis.

Jervis denies assaulting Mr Whitwam at Gunton Hall holiday resort in Lowestoft and perverting the course of justice.

Giving evidence PC Christopher Belcher told how he and PC David Colebridge had managed to restrain Mr Whitwam who was violently struggling with officers after trying to flee the scene, in the early hours of March 24, last year.

He said Whitwam had been lying face down but refused to release his hands and was found to be holding a screwdriver.

He said he was worried for his own safety and that of his fellow officers and sprayed Mr Whitwam in the face - but some of it blew back into his own face, irritating his eyes.

He said he got PC Colebridge and PC Mark Barney to handcuff Mr Whitwam while he still held onto the suspect.

PC Belcher said that Jervis had then turned up and had hit Mr Whitwam with his baton.

“I could only see out of my right eye. I could see Sgt Jervis with his baton out and extended. I saw Sgt Jervis hit Mr Whitwam with the baton on side of his head.”

PC Belcher said that when he was writing up his report with the other officers Jervis had told him to say that he was not at the scene.

After an independent inquiry was launched following a complaint he admitted he had then made another statement about what happened and the involvement of Jervis.

Another officer PC David Colebridge who also claimed to have seen the incident told how he had also seen Jervis flick Mr Whitwam with his baton.

The trial continues.

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