Police officer used excessive force on boy, aged 15
8:58am Friday 14th September 2012 in News
A POLICE officer has been convicted of misconduct in a public office after he “assaulted” a boy in custody.
Stephen Hudson, aged 43, from Westhoughton , was found guilty by a unanimous verdict after CCTV footage showed he used “excessive force” three times on the 15-year-old boy.
The incident happened on Saturday, March 5, last year, when the boy refused to empty his pockets so he could be searched at Swinton custody suite.
Judge Peter Davies also criticised two other police officers and a custody sergeant for their “disgraceful behaviour” and raised concern about them continuing to serve as police officers.
He said the two men and a woman were fortunate to avoid prosecution after “bullying of the worst form”.
The victim’s mother called for police pain restraint techniques to be reviewed.
The 39-year-old, from Little Hulton , said: “I am happy with the verdict. If that’s what can go on behind closed doors I am glad it is now in the open.
“When I picked my son up from the custody suite he was bruised. He was very withdrawn for a while and was scared.
“Seeing the CCTV of the incident was horrifying, and hearing him scream broke me inside.”
The four-day trial heard the boy, now aged 16, had his feet lifted off the floor by Hudson and ended up with his head in a property tray on top of the counter.
The boy, who was just four feet eight inches tall, was arrested at home after breaching a bail condition.
The complaint was lodged when he was released from custody two days later.
Other police officers present at the time of the incident were “amused” by the boy’s behaviour but did use any force against him, the court heard.
Hudson claimed he did not lose his temper but became frustrated and angry when the boy failed to comply with requests for a compulsory search to be carried out.
Michael Hayton, defending, said: “Since the investigation his restricted duties have meant he has lost out financially. He will be suspended today from all duties. His children have been taken out of school because of abuse they have received as a consequence of what has been talked about in the playground.”
The court heard he is likely to be declared bankrupt and was a “broken man”.
Judge Davies said: “This is a serious matter which has made a considerable impact on your life in the last 18 months and will continue to do so. I very much hope that your police service is now at an end.
“It gives me no joy to say that. If it was up to me you wouldn’t be left on your own, your colleagues would be here as well.
“I thought the other officers were fortunate to be not be in court. I thought this was bullying of the worst kind. He may have been a nuisance and a menace but they laughed and sneered at him. I regard it as particularly serious. My sentencing remarks are to be given to the chief constable and the officer in charge. I am very concerned about those officers continuing in the police service.”
Judge Davies adjourned the case for information to be obtained about Davies’ financial circumstances and the disciplinary proceedings of the other officers present.
He will be sentenced on Wednesday, October 10.
Det Ch Supt Paul Rumney described Hudson’s actions as “totally unacceptable” after the verdict.
He added: “Greater Manchester Police expects the highest standards of all its officers and staff.
“On this occasion this officer has acted with excessive force and overstepped the boundaries of reasonable force.
“This incident was thoroughly investigated by the Professional Standards Branch as soon as it came to light and the circumstances were presented to the Crown Prosecution Service.
“PC Hudson's actions fell well short of the standards expected by GMP.”
Hudson will now face disciplinary action in the near future.