A POLICE officer from Bolton deliberately knocked the legs from beneath a handcuffed prisoner, causing him to smash his head on the pavement, it has been alleged.

The blow knocked out Anthony Bradbury and he was taken to hospital where it was found he had bleeding in his brain and a fractured cheek bone, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

The alleged incident took place on a busy afternoon in Manchester town centre and was witnessed by two female colleagues of the defendant, PC Andrew Hamer, as well as shocked passers-by.

Hamer, aged 38, denies inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Andrew Ford, prosecuting, told a jury that on Saturday, July 28, 2012, police were called to Starbucks in Market Street by staff after Mr Bradbury, who was drunk, had been smoking in the toilet.

Hamer arrested him for a public order offence and after handcuffing him from behind brought him outside the coffee shop.

His two female colleagues waited with him while Hamer went back inside.

He came out and Mr Bradbury had to be repeatedly told to stop using foul language, the court heard.

Hamer then took him into the quieter Tibb Street as the street outside Starbucks was crowded.

PC Emma Whittenbury told the court: “PC Hamer faced him towards the wall and was stood behind him holding his handcuffs.

“I could see he was trying to talk to PC Hamer. He was holding the handcuffs and turned and as he turned he moved his leg and brought Mr Bradbury around and down to the floor.

“He hit the ground and I heard a loud crack and he appeared to be unconscious immediately.”

Mr Bradbury, aged 55, had been out the night before and that day he went back out and met up with friends in Salford. They went to bars in Manchester town centre but he became separated.

He said he was not excessively drunk but admitted his recollection of events was hazy. When interviewed by police, Hamer claimed that Mr Bradbury had been aggressive and threatening and he thought he was going to head butt him.

He said he was satisfied his actions were necessary and that they were lawful because he perceived the man as a threat.

But Mr Ford told the jury, “We say the action was deliberate, amounted to assault and that at the very least he was reckless as to the consequence, which was serious."

The case continues.