A CLECKHEATON police officer has been cleared of assaulting a prisoner with a history of complaints against the police.
PC Glynn Dutton, 36, of Bridon Way, appeared before Sheffield Magistrates Court after he was accused of assaulting convicted drug dealer Hasan Mumtaz while in custody in Bradford last June.
During the two day trial, the court heard that PC Dutton had become concerned with Mumtaz’s refusal to sit down during his detention at a custody suite at the Trafalgar House police station, in Bradford.
The incident began on June 18 when PC Dutton and a female officer were called to arrest Mumtaz, who was wanted on a warrant and was causing a disturbance in Bradford Crown Court.
A detective said he had been the recipient of three complaints from Mumtaz, so delegated responsibility for sorting the problem out to the two officers.
At the police station, CCTV footage showed PC Dutton pushing Mumtaz down onto a bench. A struggle broke out before a number of other officers arrived to help.
Mumtaz claimed that it was an unprovoked attack, after PcCDutton told him to sit down in a ‘proper bullying’ way, adding that he it was his human right to stay standing.
Speaking in court, PC Dutton said: “I just asked him to sit down. He just said no. I asked him politely again to sit down.
“He said something to the effect of ‘You can’t tell me what to do, it’s my human right to stand up if I want to stand up’.
“I just thought I’m going to have some problems with this gentleman.
“I’ve asked him twice to sit down and he’s just refusing to do it.”
During the melee, Mumtaz grabbed the officer’s genitals and PC Dutton punched the prisoner in order to be released, fearing ‘serious injury’.
He also admitted administering three ‘knee strikes’.
The court heard Mumtaz had made 29 unsubstantiated complaints against the police since June 2007, averaging one per month.
He had an extensive criminal record, including a two-and-a-half year sentence in May 2004 for violent disorder and unlawful wounding, following an incident where a man was stabbed to death.
Five months after his release, Mumtaz was handed a nine-month sentence for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
In August 2007, he was jailed for 10 months for possessing heroin and crack cocaine with intent to supply.
He was also given a 21 month sentence from Bradford Crown Court for affray and convicted of a public order offence at Keighley Magistrates Court last July.
PC Dutton was described as ‘a family man’ with an ‘impeccable record’ who was known for his ability to avoid violent confrontations by ‘talking people down’. He coached a junior football team and had been a police officer for five years.
Friends and colleagues described him as an “excellent officer”.