No evidence police were biased against man arrested over domestic incident

Published Date: 02.01.2014

A Police Ombudsman investigation has found no evidence to support claims by a man arrested for assaulting his ex-partner, that police failed to properly investigate claims that he himself had been attacked.

The man (Man A) claimed police ignored evidence that he had been assaulted, including an injury to his nose and blood on his face. He also claimed that a friend who had been present during the incident had told police he (Man A) had been attacked.

In addition, Man A alleged that police should not have taken a statement from his ex-partner on the night of the incident, as she had been intoxicated, and also complained that despite the injuries to his face, he was not seen by a doctor during his time in police custody.

He also alleged that since the incident, police had advised him only once about progress on the case.

A Police Ombudsman investigator obtained statements from the police officers who had dealt with the incident. She also made repeated attempts to contact Man A’s friend and his former partner, but they did not assist the Police Ombudsman’s enquiries.

The police investigating officer said that when he arrived at the scene of the incident he noticed that Man A’s partner had injuries, and also noted damage to furniture. He maintained that he had reasonable grounds to suspect an offence had been committed and to arrest Man A.

He also stated that when, at a later date, Man A made a counter allegation of assault against his ex-partner, it was then properly investigated. The officer said he had updated Man A after interviewing his former partner, after which a file had been sent to the PPS and his obligation to update Man A ended.

The officer who interviewed Man A’s former partner said her account had been clear and coherent, and did not believe her to have been intoxicated.

Accounts were also obtained from the other officers who had been at the incident. None recalled any mention of Man A having been assaulted. Neither had they seen any injuries or blood on Man A’s face, or noted any indication that Man A’s former partner had been intoxicated.

The Custody Sergeant who had dealt with Man A said he had noticed no injuries, and said Man A had made no mention of being hurt. He said he would have had no problem with bringing a doctor to the police station to examine him, but he had not been aware of any reason to do so.

Having considered the evidence, the Police Ombudsman investigator found no evidence of misconduct by any of the officers who had dealt with the incident, and closed Man A’s complaint as not substantiated.

She also rejected a complaint that police had failed to investigate a subsequent incident during which Man A’s former partner entered his garage and took her belongings. She noted that this amounted to trespass, which was a civil matter and as such not an issue for police to deal with.

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