Police officer who was jailed for smashing handcuffed prisoner's head on pavement has appeal rejected
Updated 7:15pm Friday 23rd May 2014 in News
A disgraced Bolton policeman who floored a prisoner he had in handcuffs, causing his head to slam into the pavement, has had an appeal against his sentence thrown out by top judges.
The once-commended constable, Andrew John Phillip Hamer, 38, lost his temper and forced handcuffed Anthony Bradbury to the ground, after arresting him for a public order offence in Manchester city centre coffee shop.
Hamer, of Albion Street, Westoughton, Bolton, resigned from his job and was jailed for a year at Liverpool Crown Court in February, after he was convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Today, three senior judges at London's Appeal Court rejected a bid by Hamer to have his sentence suspended, saying they were "unconvinced" that an immediate custodial term was too stiff.
Mr Justice Hickinbottom said Hamer, a 13-year police veteran, went to Starbucks, in Market Street, with two female officers after reports of a disturbance in July, 2012.
He arrested Mr Bradbury, amidst claims that the 55-year-old had been abusive and aggressive to staff, handcuffed him and took him to a nearby side street to wait for a police vehicle to pick them up.
However, after Mr Bradbury had repeatedly offered to fight him, Hamer snapped and took his prisoner's legs from under him. Mr Bradbury was sent crashing to the pavement, "causing a loud crack" when his head hit the ground, the judge said.
Mr Bradbury was knocked unconscious and Hamer helped to give him first aid. He was rushed to hospital and found to have a fractured cheek bone and bleeding to the brain.
He later made a good recovery from the injuries and was handed a conditional discharge in relation to the public order offence in Starbucks.
Hamer, who had previously spent four years in the armed services, stepped down from the force, and thereby lost £140,000 worth of his pension entitlement, his lawyers say.
Applying to appeal, Michael Hayton QC, for Hamer, today said the ex-officer's sentence should have been suspended in consideration of his substantial personal mitigation.
The QC pointed out that Hamer had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis after the offence and that his former profession meant he had to serve his jail term in segregation.
Mr Justice Hickinbottom, sitting with Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Coulson, said the court recognised that Hamer had a been highly respected officer, having received a commendation for his actions during the Manchester riots.
But, he concluded: "We are unconvinced that the judge erred in not suspending the sentence.
"He concluded that they were insufficient to make an immediate sentence of imprisonment inappropriate.
"He was, in our view, entitled to come to that conclusion and, indeed, we consider the conclusion correct."
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