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

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, 15:29

A surprise extra trio brings the iconic ‘I’d rather be in North Devon’ fleet up to five

Read more
Yesterday, 12:58

Casualties described as ‘walking wounded’

Read more
Yesterday, 12:36

Beach operators have revealed the mystery behind strange black patches which have appeared on Saunton Sands.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:23

Police have released pictures of Bideford mugging which took place in Honestone Street - can you help identify the two suspects?

Read more
Yesterday, 09:58

An ex-fire fighter from South Molton is speaking out about mental health and living with paranoid schizophrenia, as part of our Let’s Talk About It campaign.

Read more
Wed, 17:51

Police call for victims to come forward after 21-year-old had to be carried home unconscious after just three drinks...

Read more
Wed, 15:21

Police are looking for information regarding the assault, which occurred on Sunday.

Read more
Wed, 12:33

The centre’s owners have said there are ‘several interested parties’ for the former BHS store and are working to keep Topshop ‘within Green Lanes’.

Read more
Wed, 10:00

Transformation of old quarry with hotel, holiday lodges and new nature reserve could create more than 100 new jobs

Read more
Wed, 09:38

Find a Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event near you this week

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°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

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications