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article imagePoliceman may be fired for throwing woman into cell

By Lynn Curwin     Sep 5, 2010 in Crime
Melksham - A police sergeant has been suspended and may lose his job for injuring a woman at a police station. CCTV footage showing the woman being dragged through the police station and roughly shoved into a cell by the officer has been released.
Pamela Somerville, 59, was taken to the Melksham police station in Wiltshire in July 2008, after refusing to take a breath test when she was found asleep in her car.
Sgt Mark Andrews, 37, hauled the woman through the police station and threw her into a cell, leaving her with bleeding injuries to her face.
After the woman called for help Andrews and another person returned to the cell paramedics were called. She was then taken to hospital to have stitches in a gash above her eye.
Another police officer reported the incident to a supervisor.
A statement issued by Assistant Chief Constable Patrick Geenty said: “We are extremely concerned when anyone is injured whilst in our custody and the court has decided that this injury was as a result of a criminal assault by Sergeant Mark Andrews a member of Wiltshire Police who was performing duty as a custody sergeant at the time.
We respect the decision of the court and Wiltshire Police has formally apologised to the injured lady for the assault she suffered whilst in our care.
The incident was reported by another Police Officer within the custody centre who was concerned at what had taken place. The Officer found herself in a very difficult situation created by her own supervisor but performed her duty in accordance with the highest standards expected of a Police Officer in bringing this unacceptable incident to the attention of another supervisor.”
He said that Andrews was immediately removed from his duties and an investigation resulted in the file being sent to the Crown Prosecution Service, which led to a conviction of causing bodily harm.
He stated that, whatever the reason for a person’s detention by police, they feel and be safe.
“This incident should not have happened and I am very sorry that we let this lady down,” he said. “Although she had been lawfully arrested, she was not charged with any offence.”
BBC News reported that Andrews is expected to be dismissed from his job. He is scheduled to be sentenced at Oxford Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, and will also face a police misconduct hearing in October.
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