Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Man bit custody officer’s arm during strip search

PUBLISHED: 16:51 04 April 2014 | UPDATED: 16:51 04 April 2014

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

Archant

The 43-year-old admitted the assault after he ‘panicked’ when officers ‘brought him to the ground’ to remove his clothes.

A MAN who drew blood biting a prison warden’s arm when officers tried to strip search him in custody has pleaded guilty to assault.

Robert Johnson, 43, of Foxmoor Close, Uxbridge was arrested on January 16 in Bideford after police were told about a man acting strangely in the town.

He was arrested for being drunk and disorderedly but when officers handcuffed him and put him in the police van he began to swear and threaten them.

On arrival at Barnstaple Police Station, Johnson continued to be abusive and officers decided to take him straight to a cell.

He was brought to the ground in a ‘controlled manner’, said prosecutor Lyndsey Baker, where officers tried to remove his clothes.

“He was not happy that his clothing was going to be removed,” she said.

“He bit the right forearm of the custody officer, who was unable to pull away for fear of causing greater injury. The bite lasted around 10 seconds.”

The injury was described as being around an inch-and-a-half long and ‘oozing blood’.

Lawrence Overend, defending, said Johnson disputed that he was being drunk and disorderly in the first place and had previously had a bad experience with the police.

“He was being held and his jumper was cut off him,” said Mr Overend.

“He panicked and was frightened by the rather intimate nature of the search and admits he gave no rational thought to what he did.”

The court heard unemployed Johnson divided his time between him home in London and his parents’ house in Northam where he cared for his elderly mother.

Magistrates decided to impose a 12 month supervision order on Johnson, as well as ordering him to pay £200 in compensation to the victim and a £60 victim surcharge.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 21:43

Famous North Devon village the latest location for new historical feature film

Read more
Yesterday, 13:14

Fire fighters received reports of a house on fire with a man still inside - and two other men entering the property to rescue him.

Read more
Fri, 23:02

Fire fighters called to Eaglescott crash after light aircraft ploughs into a field, hitting trees and a hedge

Read more
Fri, 19:03

The Landmark will be for community use initially and the cafe reopen, while ‘strong shows’ are promised for the Queen’s in Barnstaple

Read more
Fri, 18:39

Saunton to feature in new film starring Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey actors

Read more
Fri, 16:57

North Devon Council is holding a series of public meetings before a trial scheme for three-weekly bin collections.

Read more
Fri, 15:20

Children at South Molton United Church of England Primary School are settling into the town’s school for the future

Read more
Fri, 15:07

The RNLI is urging people to take heed of its safety advice when visiting North Devon beaches this bank holiday weekend.

Read more
Fri, 15:05

Hairspray will be the first show back at the Queen’s after Parkwood signed the contract to take over both of North Devon’s theatres

Read more
Fri, 14:51

Hyundai given sticky note treatment in act of neighbourly friendship

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications