Police slammed for arresting assault ‘victim’

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Crime story

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A WOMAN ended up in court herself after she called police to save her from a domestic assault.

Beverley Potter, of Greendale, Atherton, pleaded guilty to a breach of the peace charge and assaulting an officer on duty but her lawyer criticised the police’s decision to prosecute.

Wigan magistrates heard the 43-year-old contacted police at around 9.30pm on March 19 after she allegedly suffered a domestic attack by her partner.

Prosecuting, Alan Packer said officers arrived at the house to find Potter screaming and shouting aggressively. A police statement said the defendant wouldn’t calm down despite being asked and therefore was arrested for breach of the peace.

Mr Packer explained that Potter needed the bathroom and so she went before being taken to the station. But here, she began shouting again at her teenage son and partner and attempted to go into her son’s bedroom.

It was then that officers attempted to detain the defendant and a struggle broke out. In the altercation and while trying to restrain Potter, the court was told that PC Cowley was hit.

Potter was left with a black eye while the officer had no visible injuries.

Defending, Sean Joyce said he had a lot of sympathy for the defendant. “The reason the police were called was because Potter and her partner had an argument and because she had been assaulted.

“Police chose to not accept this because she had no visible injuries. There is an irony that they didn’t accept that and yet the officer alleges assault but also has no visible injuries. She was agitated because police wouldn’t listen to her and they ignored her.

“Potter admits raising her voice out of sheer frustration. She wasn’t drunk, she was a victim of assault. She needed the bathroom and her 14-year-old son was in the bedroom, where he had been throughout the whole incident and she was concerned that he was distressed which is easy to understand.

“All she wanted to do was to say everything will be okay before she was taken to custody.”

Mr Joyce explained that because of this she was dragged down the stairs. And with having an old knee injury had a sudden pain and reacted by flinging her arms out. During this, there was contact with the said officer.

Mr Joyce added: “I am personally disappointed that the police decided to charge her for this as there are so many other outlets available now to handle situations like this and regrettably she now has a criminal record.

“There were four officers there and she was physically dragged down the stairs, they admit this. And although they have no injuries, they admit that her black eye was caused by them.”

Potter was handed a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £85 costs and £15 victim surcharge.

She was also given a six-month breach of peach order which means if she fails to keep the peace within that time she will be charged £100.